The UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, in conjunction with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, offers a generalist dietetic internship program with a clinical nutrition emphasis.
The UK Hospital Dietetic Internship Program currently is granted continuing accreditation by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. ACEND is recognized by the Council for Higher Education and the United States Department of Education.
The program has been continuously accredited since it began in 1969. Our graduates have compiled a 94 percent first time pass rate in the last five years and a 97 percent first time pass rate since the beginning of the program.
Upon successful completion of the program interns are able to function as generalist entry-level dietetic practitioners, eligible for active membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and eligible to take the registration examination.
The internship begins in early August with the first week devoted to a general orientation. Supervised practice experiences are planned to provide a progression from orientation and direct supervision to working independently with little supervision based on a program of timely and routine feedback of performance.
The program is fast-paced and rigorous. Internship activities require strong time management and organizational skills, excellent study skills and a high level of commitment to the education process.
To learn more, click on the links about the program curriculum, the program schedule and the research opportunities available.
Q: How many applications do we receive?
A: We receive an average of 71 applications for the 6 intern positions.
Q: What do we look for in an application (applicant)?
A: We look for very good GPA and great work/volunteer experience. We honestly don't care if the applicant got paid for the experience (work) or not (volunteer), as we emphasize the learning from the experience. Letters of recommendation are very helpful. The individual letter from the applicant is very important. The letter should tell us about the person, not just list courses or accomplishments that we can find elsewhere in the application. It is the time to tell us why they think our program is a good match for their goals and a time to address any "hiccups" in the application. "Hiccups" might be sitting out a semester or having a poor GPA semester due to family illness or something like that. The interview is always a great time to make a good impression!
Q: Do we conduct interviews?
A: We interview applicants that meet our criteria for admission. Last year we did Skype interviews for the first time and really liked doing them. We did find that usually the interview reinforced those that might be "top picks" or "might need to match some other internship." For those applicants that fell between, it was very helpful to us and we hope to them as well.
Q: What are some of the unique features of the program?
A: The interns have 1:1 time with their preceptors on all rotations. We always try to allow the interns to observe procedures (EGD or heart cath for instance) as often as we can. This internship is also with the VA so we have unique rotations at both facilities. The VA has an excellent follow up system with clinics and telemedicine for instance, while at UK we have a three-week rotation for Pediatrics.
Q: Can interns have a job during the internship?
A: No, outside employment is not allowed during the internship. We do not charge tuition and we offer a stipend of about $5,300 so that should be helpful with expenses.
Q: Is there any scheduled time off during the internship?
A: There is one week scheduled for vacation during the Christmas season.
Q: Are interns responsible for their own living arrangements?
A: Yes, interns make their own arrangements for living facilities. They will be on a list serve with other members of their intern class and can arrange to live with another student if they wish. They can contact the Lexington Chamber of Commerce for specific information about apartment complexes.
Q: What is a typical day during the internship?
A: You will be working the same work schedules as your preceptor. Typically a day with the preceptor is 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Some preceptors work earlier shifts but the day with the preceptor is generally eight hours. You will be doing patient care with the preceptor and doing patient nutrition assessments, follow-up notes and education sessions. After your day at the hospital you will have between three and four hours of homework and projects each evening. This is definitely not an 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. internship.
Q: How much autonomy will I have with my preceptor?
A: The preceptors are by your side during the first month or two, depending on your needs. As the internship progresses and your confidence, knowledge and abilities increase, so does your autonomy. The final three weeks of the internship is Staff Relief where you will actually take over patient assignments for the preceptors.
Q: Your website talked about going out of town for the community rotation. Can you tell me about that?
A: The Community rotation is usually the final four weeks of the internship. Since UK and VA are high level acuity trauma centers, we lack the ability to show the interns what small hospitals, county health departments, WIC clinics, etc do on a daily basis. During Community you live in a more rural environment within the community to get a community "feel." Housing is provided for the interns during this month long rotation. You will go with county RDs to things such as diabetes cooking classes, school lunch programs, retirement facilities, WIC experiences and all other teaching opportunities. This is a unique opportunity for the interns and is often their favorite month of the internship.
Beverly Lenahan, MS, RD, LD
Manager, Nutrition Service
Director, Dietetic Internship
UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital
800 Rose St., HP 507
Lexington KY 40536-0293
1000 S. Limestone
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40536
800-333-8874 (toll free)
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