Program Schedule

The Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship will be comprised of a total of 36 weeks, which includes 2 weeks off and 3 sick/personal days. It will begin September and end in May (to best correlate with Michigan State University’s academic year).

Generally, each intern is scheduled to work 5 days within a 7-day period for a total of 40 hours per week. Interns are usually scheduled for 8-hour days. However, interns who do not finish their daily assignments in the scheduled period are expected to complete them before leaving for the day. Additional time required for study, special projects, assignments, etc. are done during off-duty hours.

Supervised practice experiences, ranging from 1 week to 5 weeks long, are planned with a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:1 or 1:2. Clinical competency testing is completed through evaluation of assignments specific to the experience, daily interaction with the preceptor, pre- and post- testing, and through a variety of audits.

Professional self-reflection/self-evaluation is planned after each learning experience for the student to be accountable for their personal competence in practice as well as to reflect on interests, strengths, weaknesses, critical thinking skills, organizational skills, and short- and long-term goals and objectives.

Orientation/Basic Clinical Skills (3 weeks)

All interns have a 3-week didactic learning experience planned to introduce basic knowledge and skills needed throughout the program including policies and procedures and skills associated with the practice of medical nutrition therapy. Hands-on clinical supervised-practice experiences with an assigned RDN will be provided. Didactic classroom experiences complement the basic skills training.

Clinical (18 weeks)

These learning experiences place emphasis on medical nutrition therapy using the nutrition care process specific to the individual in-patient or out-patient population. Patient/family education, meal rounds, collaborative rounds, case-studies, pre-tests/post-tests, and discussion/evaluation of additional professional reading may be planned during each experience.

Cardiology/Cardiac Rehab/Health Coaching – 2 weeks

Internal Medicine/Pulmonary/Infectious Disease – 2 weeks

Oncology/Hematology/Henry Ford Cancer Institute – 2 weeks

Transplant – 1 week

Neuroscience/ALS – 2 weeks (Includes the Neuro Intensive Care Unit)

Nephrology/Dialysis – 2 weeks

Special Populations – 1 week (Includes bariatric surgery, maternal, and pediatrics)

Mid-Term Review/Wounds – 2 weeks

  • During the Mid-Term review clinical supervised practice learning experience, Dietetic Interns address the nutritional needs and the educational needs of all patients on modified diets and/or receiving enteral nutrition. This learning experience is a mid-program evaluation of basic competencies and the nutrition therapy competencies for registered dietitian nutritionist education. This is accomplished through the use of the audit process to evaluate the interns.

Critical Care – Surgical – 2 weeks (Includes Nutrition Support Services)

Critical Care – Medical – 2 weeks (Includes Henry Ford Home Infusion)

Clinical Staff Responsibility (5 weeks)

The Clinical Staff Responsibility supervised practice experience is designed for the student to demonstrate the knowledge and skills of an entry level clinical registered dietitian nutritionist by assuming responsibility for managing clinical nutrition services for patients. The dietetic intern will demonstrate and be evaluated on the basic competencies for entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist education and the nutrition therapy concentration competencies.

Community/Management (3 weeks)

Diabetes Care Connection – 2 weeks

  • Dietetic interns have the opportunity to participate in the system's Diabetes Care Connection. The interns observe and assist in the normal operational functions of the diabetes care center including the Patient Encounter Process and perform calculations of diet instructions as well as attend the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program sessions taught by the RDN, CDCES, and the Nurse Diabetes Educator.

Clinical Management – 1 week

  • Dietetic interns will work alongside the clinical nutrition manager to assist in management functions such as scheduling, staff and leadership meetings, and observe day to day tasks.

Foodservice (4 weeks)

Retail Food Service – Dietetic Interns have the opportunity to complete a merchandising project in the retail area, which includes menu planning, meal forecasting, recipe standardization, budgeting, marketing, inventory control, equipment use, and the bill paying process.

Patient Food Service – The dietetic interns shadow each member of the management team discussing each area of their daily job duties, complete safety and sanitation audits, complete a plate waste study, discuss the budgeting process, and analyze risk in nutrition and dietetics practice including emergency preparedness.

Additional Schedule Information

Classes and Field Trips

  • Didactic activities are scheduled on a month-to-month basis and are listed on a monthly meeting schedule. Interns are expected to be responsible for the content of all classes. If classes are scheduled during vacations, on scheduled days off, or when interns are off-campus, arrangements for class notes or handouts should be made. Field Trips may include: The Annual Henry Ford Health Nutrition Symposium, grocery store tour, demonstration kitchen, legislative day, and community/nutrition related events.

Weekends/Vacations/Holidays/Sick Days

  • 2 weeks of vacation (1 week in December, 1 week in March) and 1-2 weekend experiences are scheduled during the program. Interns will not be scheduled to work on an official hospital holiday. Interns will be allowed to take up to 3 sick or personal days. If interns need a specific time off during the internship, they may speak with the internship director to adjust their vacation time.

Oral Presentations

  • Oral Presentations are planned throughout the program to focus the intern on using accurate, evidence-based information presented in a logical and organized manner with key points summarized and related to dietetics practice. Towards the end of the internship, interns will present a Case Study to Henry Ford faculty and fellow interns.

Culinary Skills

  • Utilizing the vast resources of our Executive Chef and Patient Services Manager, the program focuses on food, nutrients, cultural influences, and techniques to improve acceptability and patient compliance.

Other Activities/Projects

  • Observe/Participate in a “LiveWell” Recipe and Cooking Video with the production team at Henry Ford Health’s demonstration kitchen
  • Complete a “LiveWell” recipe modification with the opportunity to video some of the recipe creations
  • Attend both Sports Nutrition and Eating Disorders presentations
  • Plan, develop, and execute successful National Nutrition Month activities
  • Prepare and present a Comprehensive Clinical Case Study

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Dietetic Interns must demonstrate effective information exchange with patients, patients' families, and professional associates and preceptors.
  • Dietetic Interns are expected to:
    • create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients.
    • use effective listening skills and elicit and provide information using effective nonverbal, explanatory, critical thinking, and writing skills.
    • work effectively with others as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team.
Information for Applicants
Interested in applying to one of our programs, call (800) 436-7936.

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