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Practice Experiences

Professional learning experiences are provided in the areas of clinical nutrition, food service management, and community nutrition. These experiences are designed to prepare competent entry-level dietetic practitioners and to introduce clinical nutrition specialty areas.

  • Clinical Rotations

    Interns will spend a total of 29 weeks in various clinical rotations at both UK and the VA Medical Center including: medicine, surgery, oncology, pediatrics, renal, long-term care, outpatient counseling, cardiology, nutrition support service and staff relief.

    Doctors in surgeryWhile interns will spend time in specific rotations, they will see a variety of patients on each rotation.

    Medicine rotations will expose interns to patients with various disease states, which may include: diabetes, HIV/AIDS, liver disorders, Crohn’s disease, GI disorders, transplant and metabolic disorders.

    Surgery rotations will expose interns to patients who have undergone various procedures, which may include: Whipple procedures, PEG/PEG-J placement, gastric resections/removal, small/large bowel resections and amputations.

    Cardiology rotations will expose interns to patients with various cardiac conditions, which may include: acute myocardial infarctions, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart transplant, and patients in the cardio-thoracic intensive care unit.

    Oncology rotations take place in the Markey Cancer Center and will expose interns to patients with various stages of cancer and various primary sites. Interns will also have the opportunity to work in the Blood and Marrow transplant unit.

    Boy with stethoscopePediatric rotations will take place in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Interns may have the opportunity to work with patients with failure to thrive, metabolic disorders, respiratory disorders and lymphomas. Experience will also be provided in the pediatric intensive care unit. Interns may have the opportunity to work with pediatric patients on total parenteral nutrition. Interns may spend time with dietitians in the neonatal intensive care unit, metabolic disorder clinic, diabetes specialty clinic, and cystic fibrosis clinic.

    Renal rotations will expose interns to patients with various stages of renal failure, which may include: renal insufficiency, acute renal failure, chronic renal failure, End stage renal failure, patients on hemo and peritoneal dialysis, and renal transplantation.

    Nutrition Support Service takes place in the intensive care units. UK is a level one trauma center and interns will have the opportunity to work in the following ICUs: Trauma, Medicine, Surgical and Neurosurgical. Interns may have the opportunity to work with patients on total parenteral nutrition.

    The Long Term Care rotation will provide experience for interns with patients with variable mental or physical debilitating disease states, which may include: Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), and para or quadriplegia.

    Outpatient counseling will take place primarily in the VA Medical Center. Interns will have the opportunity to provide various diet educations which may include weight loss, diabetes, renal restrictions and cardiac diets.

    Staff relief provides the intern with experience in prioritizing, planning, and implementing patient care. Specialty preferences are considered for each individual intern when assigning relief duties.

  • Food Service Management

    Supervised practice experiences in the use of management skills and techniques required in the operation of an institutional food service are provided during food service management rotations.Food services

    Interns spend six weeks gaining experiences in purchasing and inventory management, food production and service, personnel management, marketing and merchandising, financial management, retail service, and employee training. Food service management experiences take place at UK Chandler Hospital, VA Medical Center and Fayette County Public Schools.

  • Community Nutrition

    Interns spend four weeks in community-related supervised practice experiences. The setting is at a health care facility in a smaller Kentucky city and the community agencies in the surrounding area coordinated through the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Doctor with man smiling

    Learning activities vary by community, but include participation in public health programs, feeding programs and home health.

    The setting is at a health care facility in a smaller city between 50 and 200 miles from Lexington. Transportation to their assigned location is the responsibility of the intern.

    The intern will work and live in the community location during the four-week rotation. Typical locations might include (but not limited to) Hazard, Morehead, Pikeville, Mount Vernon or Benton, Kentucky.

    Under AHEC guidelines, UK pays for lodging while the interns are at their community rotation. AHEC also pays for mileage for one round trip to their location. No additional travel money is given, nor is there a food allowance.