The Huntington-based Dietetic Internship (DI) is a ten month program that combines supervised practice and 21 hours of graduate coursework.
Program Schedule and Length of Rotation
Interns will complete 24 hours of supervised practice weekly in the fall and spring semesters. In order to meet the minimum requirement of 1200 supervised practice hours, rotations are scheduled during some University holidays. Throughout the Summer Session, interns will participate in rotations 40 hours per week.
General Description of Internship Rotations
Interns will work individually and in groups to develop and present nutrition education material to members of the tri-sate community.
Long Term Care
The rotation is designed to provide interns with an introduction to clinical practice in the long term care setting. Interns will be given the opportunity to work with dietitians performing nutrition assessments and interventions and will be introduced to the regulatory guidelines for long term care. The Long Term Care rotation will enable students to examine facilities with a longer length of stay, as well as furnish invaluable experience with the geriatric population.
Interns will plan, implement, and participate in the delivery and evaluation of Marshall’s Nutrition Education Program, which provides nutrition education to qualifying K-12 schools throughout southern West Virginia. This rotation enables students to interact with a variety of groups of children, improve public speaking skills, and gain a better understanding of program development and evaluation
Out-Patient Nutrition Programs
These rotations are designed to provide students with a more in-depth look at programs delivering nutrition education in the out-patient setting. Sites utilized provide primarily diabetes, weight management, and renal education. During the rotation, students are given the opportunity to develop skills in nutrition screening and assessment, as well as individual and group education and counseling.
Working with local nutritionists provides students with a firm foundation in the areas of prenatal, infant, and child nutrition as well as breastfeeding. After completing the WIC rotation, students will be familiar with the program eligibility requirements, nutrients targeted by WIC, and the areas of nutritional risk identified by the program.
During this rotation, interns will gain valuable experience in a healthcare foodservice setting. The rotation will focus on the complex duties and skills required of a foodservice director/manager. Upon completion of the rotation, students should be able to function independently with little direction from the preceptor.
Introduction to Clinical Practice (Clinical I)
Introduction to Clinical Practice is designed to provide the intern with the experience necessary to begin the major clinical portion of the internship. Many interns have little or no hospital experience and will initially be exposed to things such as the diet office and screening of patients. After completing this rotation, interns should be comfortable educating patients individually or in groups, assessing nutritional needs and intervening as necessary, presenting a case study, and communicating with other health care professionals.
Clinical Practice and Staff Relief (Clinical II)
This rotation is designed to provide the intern with the remaining experience necessary to function as an entry-level dietitian. Interns have gained previous clinical experience during the Long Term Care, Out-Patient and Clinical I rotations and should be adequately prepared to screen, assess, provide an intervention and educate patients. The experience should challenge the interns with more complex cases and make them feel comfortable functioning as a dietitian in a clinical setting. Students are expected to complete a minimum of two weeks staff relief.
Program Completion Requirements
Upon successful completion of the following criteria, the intern will receive a Verification Statement and become eligible to take the Registration Examination:
- Ten months of supervised practice in selected sites, consisting of a minimum of 1200 clock hours.
- Documentation of all learning outcomes for entry-level dietitians as described by the 2017 Standards for Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Final evaluation indicating competency performance of Meets Expectations or above in each supervised practice rotation.
- Self-evaluation of performance and experience after each supervised practice rotation.
- Portfolio submission through E*Value
- Final program evaluation upon completion of the summer term.
- A total of 21 hours of required graduate courses with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
Academic and Program Calendar
Interns will observe the University calendar for all graduate classes. Class breaks for holidays will be indicated on respective course syllabi. Supervised practice rotations, however, may be scheduled during University holidays in order to attain the appropriate number of hours for program completion. The Internship Handbook is updated annually to reflect these dates and is provided to interns during orientation, which takes place a week and a half before fall classes begin.