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Internship Rotation Descriptions

Nutrition Education and Wellness Concentration

UF/IFAS State Cooperative Extension Service: Housed on the UF campus, state Extension nutrition specialists develop programs and materials and provide training for county Extension faculty in Florida using a variety of media.

Community Nutrition Rotation

WIC Program

The WIC Program provides infant formula, supplemental foods, and nutrition education to eligible pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five. Interns provide nutrition screening to determine program eligibility, assessment of nutrition risk criteria, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion, and follow-up to clients. Interns practice with a team consisting of registered dietitian nutritionists, lactation consultants, and registered nurses in various health department settings.

Internship Sites:

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Alachua and Surrounding Counties

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Marion County

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Clay County

Food Systems Management Rotation

Interns participate in all aspects of food service management in various hospital-based food service departments including patient food service, retail operations, and catering. As part of the learning experience, interns work directly with food service workers, managers, and the food service director. Interns participate in activities to develop skills in menu planning and recipe development; purchasing and storage of food and supplies; hot and cold food production; safety, sanitation, and HACCP; personnel management; employee orientation and training; public relations and marketing; fiscal management; patient meal service and tray line; The Joint Commission and regulatory agencies; and evaluation of services.

Internship Sites

UF Health (Formerly Shands UF) (Gainesville, FL)
Veterans Administration Medical Center (Gainesville/Lake City, FL)
North Florida Regional Medical Center (Gainesville, FL)

Clinical Dietetics Rotation

Students provide all aspects of the nutrition care process for adult medical/surgical inpatients with a variety of medical conditions. Several hospitals are used to provide this component of the supervised practice experience. As part of the nutrition care process, students provide nutrition screening, nutrition assessment, care plan development, patient monitoring and follow-up, parenteral/enteral recommendations, nutrition education, discharge planning, and documentation. Students recommend and evaluate appropriate oral diet prescriptions, tube feeding prescriptions, and PN recommendations. Students discuss patient care plans with the interdisciplinary team (i.e., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, etc.) and observe care provided by members of other health care disciplines. Students plan and present a research based in-service program to staff. The environment provides interns with the opportunity to interact with clinical nutrition staff including registered dietitian nutritionists, dietetic technicians, and patient food service employees, as well as a variety of other health care professionals.

Internship Sites

UF Health (Formerly Shands UF) (Gainesville, FL)
Veterans Administration Medical Center (Gainesville/Lake City, FL)
North Florida Regional Medical Center (Gainesville, FL)

Critical Care Rotation

Students complete the Critical Care Rotation in the hospital where they completed their adult medical/surgical general clinical rotation. Interns use the nutrition care process to provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT) to high acuity patients requiring critical care management. Critical care patients often require the use of medical technology such as ventilator support, CVVHD (continuous veno-venous hemodialysis), sedation therapy, metabolic cart evaluation, and enteral/parenteral nutrition support. The students interact with the CCU interdisciplinary team as they provide patient care.

Internship Sites

UF Health (Formerly Shands UF) (Gainesville, FL)
Veterans Administration Medical Center (Gainesville/Lake City, FL)
North Florida Regional Medical Center (Gainesville, FL)

Long-Term Care Rotation

  • Veterans Administration Medical Center, Lake City and Gainesville, FL: The VA Hospital provides interns with the opportunity to develop expertise in the long-term care of elderly patients and patients with dementia. Long-term care provides challenges to the intern in meeting nutrition needs of this population and working with food service to meet these needs. Interns provide medical nutrition therapy to meet the individual patient’s needs based on medical condition and age. Other activities include developing, implementing and evaluating a special project for the long-term care setting and conducting clinical and customer service quality management activities. Interns have the opportunity to work with physicians, a registered dietitian nutritionist, registered nurses, social workers, physical therapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and case managers.
  • Barnes Healthcare Services, Gainesville, FL (local office): Barnes Healthcare Services provides interns with the opportunity to develop expertise in long-term care for home-based patients. The population includes pediatric through adult patients with diverse medical problems that often necessitate the need for enteral or parenteral nutrition. Interns provide medical nutrition therapy to meet the individual patient’s needs. Interns work in collaboration with registered dietitian nutritionists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, a nurse liaison, and an enteral care coordinator in a corporate environment. Other activities include conducting clinical and customer service quality management activities, developing a working knowledge of reimbursement for nutrition care services and developing, implementing and evaluating a special project appropriate for this home-based, long-term care setting.
  • TimberRidge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Ocala, FL: TimberRidge provides interns with the opportunity to develop expertise in the long-term care of patients requiring sub-acute, cardiac, pulmonary, orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation. Rehabilitation care is delivered with a one-to-one approach, which helps individuals return home, regain strength, endurance, balance and coordination.  The Center provides challenges to the intern in meeting nutrition needs of this population and working with food service to meet these needs. Interns provide medical nutrition therapy to meet the individual patient’s needs based on medical condition and age. Other activities include developing, implementing and evaluating a special project for the long-term care setting and conducting clinical and customer service quality management activities. Interns have the opportunity to work with physicians, registered dietitian nutritionists, and other health care professionals. Physical, occupational and speech therapy are offered in an equipped therapy gym.

Wellness Rotations

  • Marion County Cooperative Extension Service, Ocala, FL: The Cooperative Extension Service provides community education, through various venues, with the goal of bringing university-based research to the general public. Interns develop and teach classes for children, high school students, adults, and the elderly. Interns participate in developing nutrition education materials, network with other agencies and programs, develop nutrition messages/stories for mass media (i.e., radio, TV, newspaper) and participate in evaluating program effectiveness.
  • MOVE Weight Management Program, Gainesville and Lake City VA Medical Centers: The MOVE (Managing Overweight and Obesity in Veterans Everywhere) is a national weight management program designed by the VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP), a part of the Office of Patient Care Services, to help veterans lose weight, keep it off, and improve their health.
  • Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, Virginia Beach and Norfolk, VA:  Students interact in an interprofessional setting with exercise physiologists, certified personal fitness trainers, clinical exercise specialists and registered dietitian nutritionists as they provide client care.  Students provide Medical Nutrition Therapy with one-on-one nutrition counseling to clients with a variety of health conditions. Clients also include casual and elite/competitive athletes seeking sports nutrition counseling. Students will create and deliver mass media/marketing communication pieces for the fitness center. Students will additionally complete a project for a wellness program for the JW Fitness Foundation, corporate wellness site, homeless shelter or other site.
  • University Athletic Association, Sports Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL:  Students provide Medical Nutrition Therapy for student athletes with recommendations for pre-, during and/or post-competition and recovery nutrition. Athletes are seen for a variety of health issues including sports injuries and surgical repairs that require alterations in normal nutrition. Students interact with the interprofessional sports team including physicians, athletic trainers, psychologists, physical therapists and registered dietitian nutritionists. Students create and deliver a mass media communication piece for a target audience. Students participate in menu development, nutritional analysis, sensory evaluation, and customer satisfaction evaluation of menus served at the training table for athletes. Students evaluate emerging research to develop and deliver an in-service training session for a target group of sports professionals or sports team.

  • Outpatient Rotation

Students have the opportunity to select an outpatient rotation from a list that includes:

  • Outpatient Dialysis: Fresenius Medical Care of North America Dialysis Centers, Gainesville, Lake City, and Live Oak, FL: Students interact in an interdisciplinary outpatient setting with physicians, nurses, social workers, patient care technicians, and a registered dietitian nutritionist as they provide medical care to patients with chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis. Students formulate nutrition prescriptions and monitor lab values based on National Kidney Foundation recommendations. Students perform the NCP in a practice setting that allows for ongoing monitoring and evaluation, as patients receive dialysis three times per week. Interns are able to initiate nutrition education and counseling using a variety of teaching models, such as computerized instruction, board games, card games, cooking demonstrations and other methods.
  • Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services, LLC and Nutritional Guidance, Inc., Winter Park, FL: Students have the opportunity to work with registered dietitian nutritionists providing care to outpatient clients with eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, binge eating, bulimia nervosa, obesity and other nutrition concerns. Students are able to observe the interactions and therapy provided by the eating disorders team utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Experiential Therapy, Art Therapy, and other treatment modalities in various group settings. Students are able to teach an evidence-based lesson to a nutrition therapy/treatment/support group of clients. Students actively participate in meal time therapy and complete a special project in this practice setting.
  • Publix Super Markets, Inc., Corporate Nutrition and Customer Wellness, Publix Corporate Office, Lakeland, FL: Students have the opportunity to work with corporate registered dietitian nutritionists for a major supermarket chain. The students provide evidence-based category reviews of food/beverage products comparing Publix brand items to nationally recognized brands with consideration of consumer trends, ingredients, and the nutritional value of products. Students participate in the review and revision of products for inclusion in the shelf tag programs to be distributed corporate-wide, such as Better Choice, Gluten-Free Icon, or others.  The students learn about the training and roles of a variety of Publix associates in Marketing Communications, Apron Kitchens chefs, Category Managers and others. Students respond to consumer questions with science-based answers through oral, print, visual, electronic, or other media. Students support the in-store registered dietitian nutritionists by developing content for a toolkit for nutrition education/counseling. Students complete a special project in this practice setting that may be distributed corporate-wide.
  • UF Student Health Care Center: Students provide nutrition assessment, counseling and education to college students. Clients may be referred by a health care provider at the Student Health Care Center or they may self-refer for nutrition counseling related to health/fitness, diabetes, hypertension, weight management, anemia, vegetarianism, dietary supplement use, and other nutrition concerns. Interns may have the opportunity to observe/participate in counseling students with eating disorders. Students also develop and provide nutrition education programs to student and community groups, and participate in media interviews related to current nutrition topics. Students work with registered dietitian nutritionists, psychologists and other health care providers, such as physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
  • Diabetes Mellitus Rotation: The Diabetes Center at North Florida Regional Medical Center, Gainesville, Florida or the UF Health Shands Diabetes Self-Management Education and Nutrition Therapy Center, Diabetes Institute Recognized for Excellence at UF Health (Shands UF), Gainesville, FL: The Diabetes Center provides students with the opportunity to provide medical nutrition therapy to outpatients referred for diabetes education and lifestyle modifications. Clients with gestational diabetes provide interesting challenges. The team consists of a registered dietitian nutritionist, registered nurse, and clinical manager, all of whom may hold the credential of Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). Students participate in individual nutrition education, group diabetes classes, developing education materials, collecting and analyzing client satisfaction data, developing diabetes summer camp activities, and completing other special projects.
  • The Villages Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Leesburg, FL: This VA facility provides general medical services for veterans. This outpatient clinic offers students the opportunity to provide medical nutrition therapy to veterans referred for diabetes education and lifestyle modifications, as well as other chronic diseases/disorders. The team includes a registered dietitian nutritionist who also is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). Students participate in individual nutrition education, group diabetes classes, developing education materials, collecting and analyzing client satisfaction data, and completing other special projects.
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center Outpatient Clinics, Gainesville/Lake City, FL:  These outpatient clinics are housed within the Gainesville and the Lake City VA Medical Centers. Registered dietitian nutritionists provide outpatient nutrition services for veterans for a variety of conditions, including diabetes prevention and treatment, high blood pressure prevention and treatment, and management of hypercholesterolemia and obesity.
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL: Students provide individualized medical nutrition therapy to cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery in outpatient and inpatient settings. Patients are seen with the oncology treatment team and one-on-one by the registered dietitian nutritionist. Interns gain extensive experience with enteral nutrition support during this rotation. Students visit the Ronald McDonald House, Benjamin Mendick Hope Lodge, and the American Cancer Society to explore cancer resources, educational materials, and services available to patients and families. Students research and present an evidence-based in-service to professional staff. Additionally, interns develop an oncology-related project for a target group.
  • UF Health Cancer Center Oncology Rotation, Gainesville, FL: Students provide individualized medical nutrition therapy to cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery in outpatient and inpatient settings. Patients are seen with the oncology treatment team and one-on-one by the registered dietitian nutritionist. Students visit the Ronald McDonald House, Hope Lodge and the American Cancer Society to explore cancer resources, educational materials, and services available to patients and families. The oncology treatment team consists of oncologists, registered dietitian nutritionists, social workers, registered nurses, and radiation technicians. Interns gain extensive experience with enteral nutrition support during this rotation.
  • Pediatric Outpatient Rotation: UF Pediatric Pulmonary & Allergy Division: Department of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL: The UF Pediatric Pulmonary and Allergy Division provides interns with the opportunity to practice with an interdisciplinary pediatric medical specialty team consisting of physicians, registered dietitian nutritionists, nurses, pharmacists, and social workers. Interns provide medical nutrition therapy to pediatric patients diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, asthma, sleep apnea, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and ventilator-dependent children in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Interns participate in leadership activities including continuing education programs, research, and public policy.
  • Pediatric Outpatient Rotation: Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, FLOutpatient-based pediatric rotation; 17 specialty areas including endocrinology, gastroenterology, allergies/food allergies, genetics, neurology, pulmonology, etc.
  • Pediatric Outpatient Rotation: Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Orlando, FL: Outpatient-based pediatric rotation; 12 specialty areas; rotation focuses on pediatric endocrinology, but also includes weight management, nephrology and hematology/oncology.
  • Pediatric Outpatient Rotation: Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St Petersburg, FL: Outpatient based pediatric rotation; opportunities for outpatient experience in cardiovascular disease, renal disease, cystic fibrosis, neonatal follow up, eating disorders, ketogenic therapy and other clinics.

Schools

  • School Board of Alachua County School Food Service, Gainesville, FL: The School Board of Alachua County has the legal authority over the operation of all public schools in the district, including the operation of the Alachua County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Service, which provides food and nutrition services to 60 schools (elementary through high school) and centers (i.e., 43 schools and centers and 12 charter schools).