Well, I did it! My dietetic internship is over- I survived. It’s been a long, long road but 7 years, 2 loans, and about 100 tests/papers/projects later, I have finally finished! In a matter of weeks, I will be sitting for the registration exam, and will officially be a Registered Dietitian. “Amanda Sajczuk, MS RD”; It has a nice ring, don’t you think?
The internship was an incredible experience, and definitely a rollercoaster ride! I began in a hospital doing my clinical rotation. This rotation was the hardest, most productive, and most rewarding. I spent 5 months learning how to screen and assess patients for their nutritional status and then plan and make recommendations for their diet. It was not easy at first. There is so much information, and each patient is different, so it was like learning something completely new with every patient and every disease/complication I encountered. My preceptor was unbelievably smart and so patient! I learned so much from her, as well as the other dietitians. I am so grateful for everyone.
The last 3 months of the internship included a foodservice management rotation and a community rotation. I wasn’t crazy about the foodservice rotation, although I did feel that my preceptor was wonderful in helping me gain the leadership skills and experience that I needed. I ended up liking community a lot more than I thought I would. I had the chance to hold group lectures about kidney disease prevention, as well as teach nutrition and disease prevention. I also taught a portion of a home-health aide course, which included describing the different diets that patients are put on such as cardiac, diabetic, renal (kidney disease), and the different textures of the diets for patients with chewing or swallowing problems. While I don’t feel I learned as much in the community rotation as I did in the others, I feel that this rotation is just as important because of the experience it gave me. My preceptor planned so many experiences for me. I was able to use and apply all my previously-learned knowledge during this rotation, so I owe a lot to her for that.
As hard as the work I was doing on-site was, the hardest part was coming home to write a 42 page paper on liver disease! I also had many other projects which included creating a business plan, developing a nutrition-intervention program, and conducting research, which involved writing a 20 page proposal in addition to the rest of the 20 pages of methods, results, and interpretations.
Overall, the internship was hard, tedious, expensive, and AMAZING. When you love what you do, you can get through anything. I was so exhausted and emotionally drained, yet whenever someone asked me how I liked it, I immediately replied “I LOVE IT” without hesitation. I owe so much to everyone who helped me and taught me. You have a huge part in shaping me into the amazing dietitian I know I will be. THANK YOU.
Check back soon for another post! Now that the internship is over, I really hope to get on here more often.