The Life of a Dietetic Intern: Clinicals Week 5

Well friends, I am writing this post from my phone, at 10 pm, about a week late, and with a cider in my hand. Week 5 was an absolute blur and rather than give you a recap of what I did, I’d like to have a little heart to heart with my fellow RD2Be’s.

I feel like my internship is going really well. I’m learning a lot and, although we all love to complain about working for no pay, I’m really seeing the immense value of this internship. I can’t imagine jumping into the world of dietetics on my own without having had this experience first.

That being said, I am exhausted. I’m just not someone who does their best work in a typical 8 hour per day, five days per week gig. I think a lot of people struggle with a 40+ hour work week but feel like they should suck it up because “everyone else does it”. I think that’s absolute bull, which is one of the reasons why I want to work for myself.

Here’s the thing though, the dietetic internship is a 40+ hour per week deal, without counting all the extra projects and quizzes and modules to be completed after the work day is done and my brain is mush. I’m still trying to figure out how to manage this demanding schedule without slowly running out of steam. I’m also trying to figure out how to show up 100% for my patients when I’m so drained. It doesn’t feel fair to walk into someone’s hospital room as a limp noodle of an intern, so I push myself to really be present for my patients even on my worst days … but end up feeling even more exhausted because of it.

Again, I think this whole experience is important and crucial for us RD2Be’s … but it also feels like we’re expected to forget about being a human for 10 months and become an intern machine. That’s not to say everyone in my internship experience so far has been anything but amazing and kind. Y’all, I’m just so tired and it’s only week 6 😆

Now I don’t want you to think I’m miserable – I just want to be honest, because that’s the whole reason I wanted to share these posts with you all. I want to show that the internship isn’t as awful as everyone says it is, but I also don’t want you to think I’m some lunatic who has a smile plastered on her face 24/7. I’m struggling a little, and that’s okay.

A deal I try to make with myself is that I’m allowed to feel negative emotions, be bummed, and complain a little, but I also need to come up with some solutions at some point. SO, my game plan for now is to continue my nonnegotiable self care (climbing at least 2x a week) and be better about meditating. Also maybe wash my hair sometime soon. I know as long as I make my mental health my top priority I’ll at least stay somewhat sane!

Until next week sweet RD2Be’s 💛

Published by kelliroseyates

Kelli Yates is a health and nutrition writer, dietetics student, and co-host and creator of The Nutrition Nerds Podcast. In her spare time she teaches the free class Well-Fed Survival: Eating Well After Disaster.

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