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Curriculum

The University of Delaware Dietetic Internship offers a community concentration. This professional experience is designed to assist students in making the transition from the undergraduate dietetics curriculum to the world of the working professional.

The internship is divided among 4 different rotations. It is expected that interns will progress through the rotation beginning with simpler tasks and progress to the more complex. Interns must use time management skills and plan accordingly to meet the rotation objectives. By the end of the rotation, interns are expected to function with minimal guidance by the preceptor. The curriculum is designed to provide flexibility to account for varying types of experiences within a designated facility.

The following information on the curriculum objectives will provide guidance as to the expectations and types of experiences to be obtained in order to meet the competencies set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). For examples of types of facilities to meet these objectives, please visit our facilities that are utilized by the Local Option.

Clinical Nutrition

Curriculum: Clinical Nutrition Rotation

Objectives and Activities

  1. Establish collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Familiarize yourself with the roles, responsibilities, and interrelationships of the clinical nutrition manager/chief clinical dietitian, staff dietitian, dietetic technician or assistant, speech/language pathologist, social worker, pharmacist, nurse, and physician.
    • Participate in interdisciplinary rounds
  2. Perform the Nutrition Care Process for individuals, groups and populations of differing ages and health status, in a variety of settings. This should include infants, children, adolescents, adults, and elderly, low-income populations and diverse populations. Interns should become familiar with medical nutrition therapy for the following conditions/disease states: weight management/obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, renal disease, HIV/AIDS, CVA/stroke, enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition.
    • Assess patients’ nutrition status
    • Identify nutrition diagnoses
    • Develop and deliver nutrition interventions, including nutrition counseling and education
    • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions
    • Document in the medical record following the facility’s protocol
    • Develop 1 nutrition care plan using the Nutrition Care Process
  3. Evaluate 2 disease states in depth and demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
    • Develop 2 clinical case studies. Review emerging research on medical nutrition therapy and analyze its use in the clinical setting.
    • Present 1 clinical case study to RDs at the facility and to fellow interns.
  4. Participate in quality assurance/performance improvement activities at the facility.
    • Develop a performance improvement project
  5. Assume responsibilities of a staff dietitian.
    • Upon preceptor approval, assume coverage for a particular unit or cover patients designated by your preceptor.

    Evaluation Strategies

    • Biweekly reflective journaling
    • Evaluation of projects by internship faculty
    • Formative evaluations by preceptor(s)
    • Midpoint and final performance evaluation

Food Service Management

Curriculum: Foodservice Management Rotation

Objectives and Activities

  1. Establish collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Observe, interview, and/or shadow the foodservice director, assistant foodservice director, supervisor, and foodservice workers
  2. Coordinate procurement, production, distribution and service of goods and services.
    • Participate in purchasing, inventory, forecasting, production and distribution of meals
  3. Demonstrate and promote responsible use of resources including employees, money, time, water, energy, food and disposable goods.
    • Complete sustainability project
    • Complete feasability study
    • Review employee scheduling process
    • Discuss appropriate interview questions and review position descriptions and organizational chart
  4. Prepare and analyze quality, financial and productivity data
    • Review budget process, use production sheets and forecasting records
  5. Perform management functions related to safety, security and sanitation
    • Review sanitation standards
    • Conduct time-temperature study and HACCP flowchart
  6. Develop and evaluate recipes and menus for acceptability and affordability that accommodate the cultural diversity and health needs of various populations.
    • Modify one recipe to increase customer acceptability/nutritional value.
  7. Conduct customer service quality management activities
    • Conduct customer satisfaction survey
  8. Assume responsibilities of supervisor, if applicable
  9. Evaluation Strategies

    • Biweekly reflective journaling
    • Evaluation of projects by internship faculty
    • Formative evaluations by preceptor(s)
    • Final performance evaluation
Community Nutrition

Curriculum: Community Nutrition Rotation

Objectives and Activities

  1. Establish collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders
    • Interview selected individuals within the agency/facility. Examples include nutritionists, supervisors, health educators, etc.
    • Review the policy and procedure manual for the facility.
    • Review federal rules and regulations governing this agency/facility, if applicable.
  2. Obtain and analyze financial data to assess budget controls and maximize fiscal outcomes
    • Review the budget process with your preceptor or other appropriate individual in the facility
  3. Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change
    • Under supervision of preceptor, begin counseling clients
    • Develop nutrition education program, including lesson plans, marketing/advertising strategies, educational tool, and evaluation tool
  4. Participate in community-based research, nutrition surveillance and monitoring of communities.
    • Develop a community needs assessment for a target population
  5. Develop a health promotion/disease prevention intervention project.
    • Write a grant to assess the need for a community education program based on the needs assessment. Include budget, staffing needs, facility requirements, equipment and supplies which would be needed to implement the project.
  6. Utilize the Nutrition Care Process for clients in the community setting.
    • Assess clients’ nutrition status
    • Identify nutrition diagnoses
    • Develop and deliver nutrition interventions, including nutrition counseling and education
    • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions
    • Develop 1 nutrition care plan for a client in the community
  7. Develop and evaluate menus for acceptability and affordability that accommodate the cultural diversity and health needs of various populations, groups and individuals.
    • Develop a 5-day food plan for a client in the community, including cost analysis and shopping list

    Evaluation Strategies

    • Biweekly reflective journaling
    • Evaluation of projects by internship faculty
    • Formative evaluations by preceptor(s)
    • Final performance evaluation
Elective

Curriculum: Elective Rotation

Objectives and Activities

  1. Establish collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Observe, interview, and/or shadow individuals in the facility. Examples include the administrator, health educator, registered dietitian, nurse, or other staff involved in program implementation
    • Review programs, services and educational materials offered by the organization
  2. Serve in professional and community organizations
    • Discuss nutritional (or other) needs of the target population. Identify how clients can access these agency’s services.
  3. Develop and demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills; use effective education and counseling skills
    • Participate in counseling of clients and/or development and delivery of nutrition education program

    Evaluation Strategies

    • Biweekly reflective journaling
    • Evaluation of project by internship faculty
    • Formative evaluations by preceptor(s)
    • Final performance evaluation

In addition to information on the curriculum, please review the roles and responsibilities of faculty and preceptors. Also available is a guide for preceptors on mentoring students.


  • College of Health Sciences  •  Department of Behavioral Health & Nutrition  •  26 Carpenter Sports Building 
    Newark, DE 19716 •   Phone: 302-831-2265   •  Fax: 302-831-4261   •  © 2014
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