The Life of a Dietetic Intern: Food Service Week 1

All right I’ll be honest – food service is the rotation that I’ve been kind of dreading. I’m not into food service (like most of us dietetic interns), and I really just had no idea what to expect. BUT, here’s the awesome part – I’m completing my food service rotation at the same facility where I did my LTAC clinical rotation! So I already knew the food service dietitian and the entire dietary staff. This made me feel so much more at ease and comfortable going into my first day, plus I found out that I was going to be joined by one of my fellow interns during this rotation. This was a great unexpected surprise and I’m super excited to have some company because doing a rotation by yourself, at least for me, can be so lonely and makes the whole experience a little rockier.

One thing that became immediately apparent on day one is that the holidays are a crazy time for food service. The big employee holiday party is coming up in just a couple of weeks, so much of our time was spent running errands, ordering special supplies, and pricing out food. Because it’s such a hectic time of year, we’ll be doing a lot of our module stuff after the holidays are over.

That being said, we did learn how to create a schedule, flipped through our facility’s policies and procedures, and got a tour of the kitchen – I started having a lot of unpleasant flashbacks from my food service classes to be honest but it was still cool to see the stuff we learned in school applied in real life. Oh, and all those annoying calculations you had to learn in class? Yeah, those can be done automatically in excel sheets or specialized programs. Imagine that, right?

Now, because it’s Christmas time and we’re all more than ready for our two week holiday vacation, a few of us interns got together to eat apps, have a couple of drinks and play games. It was a much needed mid-week break and I don’t even think we talked about the internship the whole time. Definitely make an effort to become friendly with your fellow interns – you already have something pretty significant in common with each other, and nobody else in your life will understand what you’re going through quite like another intern will =)

Lessons Learned This Week

  • Food service isn’t my passion, but it’s really not that bad. It’s an important part of the dietetic universe and if you like it, please go for it! We need you!
  • Give yourself room to blow off steam. Even better if it’s with your fellow interns and there’s cheese and margs involved.
  • You probably won’t be super excited about every rotation, especially if you already know what you want to do. There’s nothing wrong with just getting through it and moving on to the next one. If you get something out of it, awesome, but if you don’t, it is what it is. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make every single rotation a magical learning extravaganza if you just aren’t into it. (Obviously that doesn’t mean phone it in, but I don’t need to tell you that.)

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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