Educational experiences are planned to maximize opportunities in the marketplace, updated annually based on feedback from preceptors and interns, and promote flexibility of job ready skills in a variety of practice settings.
- A comprehensive orientation to rotation experiences is provided at program startup; referred to as "Rotation Readiness.” Topics include: lectures from preceptors and guest speakers, panel discussions, visits to external rotation sites, tours of the Medical Center and University campuses, and interactive mini-workshops that lay the ground work for rotations.
- Rotation experiences vary in length from 1-2 weeks and are offered on the Vanderbilt campus and in the surrounding communities
- Over 65+ preceptors and mentors support a diverse training network of rotations in both traditional and nontraditional practice settings.
- Supervised practice learning experiences are scheduled 4-5 days per week and may include some weekends and holidays. Assigned times for daily activities vary and will include some early morning and late evening hours
- Throughout the internship, classroom- based training days are scheduled to learn about innovative topics in the field of food and nutrition, preparing for the RD exam and developing leadership skills.
In the clinical setting, dietetic interns work 1:1 with preceptors and patients in the adult and pediatric hospitals as well as outpatient clinics. An average of 14 weeks is spent working with adults and children in hospital and clinic-based settings; experiences include:
- Collaboration with interprofessional teams
- Nutrition assessment, diagnosis, intervention, monitoring and evaluation
- Computerized medical record documentation
- Enteral and parenteral nutrition support
- Critical care nutrition in various intensive care settings
Disease Management Entry Level Practice
To cap off disease management rotations, interns select an area of clinical practice for their specialty entry level practice experience. During this rotation, interns function independently as an entry level dietitian. The opportunities available vary from year to year, based on availability of host locations and intern interests.
In the health promotion setting, dietetic interns work in teams to complete rotations in food systems management, business, and community nutrition practice settings. This team-based learning environment equips interns with job ready skills in leadership, collaboration, communication, high-order decision making and problem solving. Health promotion rotation sites include:
- Hospital food systems
- Local Non-profits influencing food access in the Nashville community
- Community-based clinics
- Nutrition advocacy organizations
- Private practice
- Medical fitness and rehabilitation centers
Examples of health promotion rotation experiences include:
- Conducting quality improvement audits
- Translating evidence-based nutrition information in an engaging and accesible way through infographics and presentations
- Partnering with local organizations to address health disparities in the Middle TN area
- Designing and delivering innovative nutrition education programs to diverse audiences
- Providing patient-driven, comprehensive nutrition counseling in outpatient and community settings
Health Promotion Entry Level Practice
Following health promotion rotations, interns function as an entry level dietitian in an area of health promotion, management, business, or community nutrition practice. The entry level practice opportunities vary from year to year, based on availability of host locations and intern interests.