Ambulatory Services: Outpatient Counseling Adults
Interns are provided with introductory experiences and close staff supervision in counseling patients. This is typically a five week rotation. Common patient diagnoses are hypertension, diabetes, cancer, prenatal conditions, and underweight. Typical diet instructions include sodium restriction and weight gain. The focus of this experience is on developing skills in planning nutritional care, counseling, and documenting care provided. This includes setting priorities, long-term goals, and behavioral objectives for patients. Interns are also provided opportunity to complete nutrition evaluation, therapy, and care of patients undergoing evaluation for or after solid organ transplantation (heart, kidney, and liver), patients in the adult and pediatric gastroenterology outpatient clinic settings, as well pediatric patients in our general pediatric clinic.The student plans individualized nutrition care and provides nutrition counseling on the basis of nutrition priorities. This rotation is a partial virtual rotation.
This three week experience includes activities involved in the management of the nutrition staff and hospital departmental budget as well as exposure to program management at the Friedman School. The interns also are involved in data collection for quality improvement activities as well as individual clinical management projects. Typically, two weeks is spent in the Tufts Medical Center Frances Stern Nutrition Center (face to face, onsite) and one week is spent working on program management at the Friedman School (virtual rotation).
After an observation period, interns function as staff nutritionists in the Women, Infants and Children Program in a neighborhood health center in and around Boston during this two to three week rotation. Among other activities, they identify individuals who are at nutritional risk, provide nutritional counseling to individuals and groups, and refer clients to other health team members when appropriate. This rotation may be held virtually (fully or partially).
USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Students participate in ongoing nutrition surveys, ambulatory studies, metabolic studies, and the operations of a kitchen in a large research unit. They are exposed to recruitment methods, research protocols and protocols, and interdisciplinary projects. Typically, this rotation is two - three weeks in length (face to face, onsite).
MGH Weight Center/Tufts Medical Center Weight and Wellness Center
Students take part in the multidisciplinary care approach to obesity management. They observe and participate in individual and group counseling sessions. In addition, they are exposed to both the medical and surgical approaches to weight loss. The intern is also given the opportunity to directly observe a gastric restrictive surgery. Typically, two to three weeks is spent in the Tufts Medical Center Weight and Wellness Center (partial virtual rotation) and three weeks are spent in the MGH Weight Center (face to face, onsite).
Affiliations in Inpatient Acute Care
Clinical Experiences in Tufts Medical Center Inpatient Acute Care Setting: Interns are precepted in each specialty area by dietitians having expertise in the various specialty areas listed below (all face to face, onsite).
Students function in the role of a clinical dietitian in an acute care hospital setting under the supervision of the clinical dietitians who have specialized expertise in particular areas of nutritional intervention. The students initially observe the dietitian and assist in daily tasks. They are later given individuals, groups, or a floor of patients to screen, assess, develop care plans for, monitor and counsel under the supervision of the dietitian. Each rotation provides a gradual increase in patient acuity and type of nutritional intervention required.The students' experience is enhanced by attendance at team conferences, medical and surgical rounds, journal review and nutrition rounds. In addition, journal articles and other readings pertinent to each rotation are available on the units. Students are also responsible for assuring that food service to patients is appropriate. They interact with the Food Services Department and are responsible for communicating pertinent patient information to them.
In this two week introduction to acute care, the dietetic intern develops basic skills in nutritional assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and appropriate medical record documentation for patients with the following problems: cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarctions, atherosclerosis, heart transplantation, postoperative surgical needs and hyperlipidemias. The intern will develop appropriate nutritional care plans, monitor status and provide nutritional education for these patients.
b. General Medicine / General Surgery
During this three week rotation, the intern uses their newly acquired skills in nutritional assessment of more complicated medical patients including Renal, Cardiac, Diabetes, GI and the Aging Population. In addition, the dietetic intern identifies the special nutritional needs of surgical patients by assuming responsibility for the nutritional care of patients on the following surgical services: vascular, oncology, GI, gynecology, cardiothoracic, bariatric surgery, and general surgery. They develop appropriate nutrition care plans for patients on various modified diets as well as those on tube feedings, and are involved in education of patients and families. They also become familiar with the nutrient content or standard nutrition solutions and are able to recognize indications for use.
c. Hematology/ Oncology/ Bone Marrow Transplant
Interns provide nutritional care to patients having different types of cancers, including solid tumors, leukemias, lymphomas, and myelodysplastic syndromes. They also identify the special nutritional needs of the bone marrow transplant patient and become familiar with chemotherapeutic agents and their side effects effects and are introduced to parenteral nutrition during this three week rotation.
The students are provided a three week rotation in our level 3 neonatal ICU and our NICU follow up clinic in order to learn about the nutritional need and care of premature infants.
Advanced Clinical Experience/Staff Relief
In this affiliation, interns assume total responsibility for inpatient nutritional care in an assigned area for a three week period (face to face, onsite).
Students participate in nutrition assessment and care of ambulatory renal patients. They also observe and serve as a health care team member for patients undergoing hemodialysis and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis during this four week rotation (face to face, onsite).
Students are provided with a unique experience in dealing directly with dental professionals on supervisory and advisory basis in reference to nutritional care of patients. The dietetic intern receives an overview of dental science and the relevant dietary factors which will make her a valuable asset to the dental profession. In this experience, the intern supervises dental students in teaching preventive nutrition dentistry to their patients. Typically, this rotation is two-three weeks in length (face to face, onsite).
Food Service Management
Through experience and observation, students develop skills in managing time and other resources; establishing safe and sanitary practices; purchasing, receiving and storing of food; developing, implementing and evaluating menus; providing for quality control; educating food service employees. The administrative and management skills developed in this affiliation promote greater effectiveness and adaptability in both clinical and community nutrition. It takes place at Tufts Medical Center's Food Service Department led by Sodexo during a two week period (face to face, onsite).
An affiliation of about three weeks' duration in an area of special interest to the intern is planned. This is done to allow students to explore an area of interest or to permit a more in depth experience in a specific area. The Optional Affiliation time is application oriented, whereas Senior Independent Study (Senior Project) is more research oriented and is usually designed towards producing a publication. Flexibility is available for the Optional Affiliation, but alternate Affiliation choices must be discussed with and approved by the Dietetic Internship Director.