First Week at My Hospital Internship!

Good morning!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week over here. As you know, this week marked the start of my second dietetic internship (my first internship was last summer in NC)! I’ll be spending the summer interning with the dietitians at a large inner-city hospital in D.C. Hospital (clinical) dietitians meet with patients to assess their nutritional status and risk for malnutrition or other issues, write/recommend patient diet orders (including calculating needs for tube feedings, IV feedings, and supplements, if necessary), give brief diet educations if necessary, etc. It’s very different from outpatient work in that you only spend maybe 5 to 10 minutes with each patient — 15 minutes tops if you’re doing a diet education (for example, information on a diabetic diet), and of course in that all the patients are sick and in hospital beds.

It’s been an interesting experience so far and one that I’ve been enjoying more than I thought I would! There’s a pretty steep learning curve with all the crazy medical abbreviations and medications (not to mention the fact that I’ve determined it must be a requirement that to get into med school you must have TERRIBLE handwriting), but so far so good. I jumped right in — after orientation on Monday, I spent Tuesday morning shadowing/learning from the male RD at the hospital, who is a great teacher and doesn’t make me feel dumb when I ask questions, which is so important. By 11 a.m. I saw my first patient on my own and wrote up the whole clinical note for the patient to include in their medical record! As of yesterday I was up to seeing 4 patients on my own and doing their charts. Yay! It’s also cool because we’re sharing the same space on the patient floors with all the physicians. I wear a white lab coat that makes me look all official and important (even though my name badge says “volunteer” instead of dietetic intern… not exactly impressive sounding), and they even gave me a pager to carry around! Apparently it’s 1999 again.


Awkward blurry bathroom self portrait — please note the pockets stuffed to the brim with cheat sheets, pens, calculator, and pager!

My hours at the hospital may change a bit depending which dietitian I’m working with (I’ll be rotating around through a bunch of the different hospital floors), but as for this week I’ve been on a 7 a.m. to 3 or 3:30 p.m. schedule. Minus the 5:30 a.m. wake up call, I actually kind of like it — even though I’m still working a full 8 hour day, it for some reason makes the day seem really short to get out so early.

Since I’ve been getting to work so early in the morning, I’ve been rocking the evening workouts all week. On Monday and Wednesday nights I hit our apartment gym, last night I went for a 4.5 mile run with my friend Ashley, and on Tuesday night I joined the Lululemon Georgetown run group again!


It’s been so rainy here all week, but luckily we had a break in the storms. :)


Like last week, we started the workout with a little mini-boot camp courtesy of Chris from Crossfit Dupont


Squats are less painful when you have such a beautiful view of the water. :)


Then we set out for the run! We ran over towards Lincoln…


Across the river to Virginia and along the trail on the water…


And back up through Rosslyn to Georgetown for a total of almost 4 miles. We got rained on a little bit but it was refreshing. :) Can’t wait for next week — feel free to join us! Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Lululemon store.


After the workout, Heather and I headed over to Sweetgreen for dinner. My fave!


I had a massive salad of mixed greens, spinach, quinoa, beets, avocado, sweet potato, carrots, tofu, sprouts, and spicy broccoli. Delicious, as always!


It was a great night. :)

Off to the hospital — hooray for FRIDAY! Matt has been on a business trip all week and gets back tonight; we’re staying in town this weekend and it’s going to be amazing not to travel. I’m pretty exhausted and can’t wait for a long, relaxing holiday weekend! Our apartment pool opens tomorrow — woohoo! :)

Happy Friday — have a great weekend! Anyone have any fun Memorial Day plans? Beach trips?


  1. 1

    Glad to hear that the internship is going well! My bf and I are actually coming up to DC for the long weekend to sight see and have fun – we need dinner restaurant ideas! Any vegetarian-friendly places to recommend that aren’t crazy expensive?

    • 2

      I’m a big fan of Java Green for lunch (Cafe Green is the sister restaurant for dinner – also good). Have fun! There’s more restaurant recs on my FAQ page!

  2. 3

    That point-n-shoot of yours is high quality! Those shots are gorgeous – you’d have no idea it actually rained on us for most of the run! ;)

  3. 4

    I’m looking forward to reading about your internship experience, both during the summer and especially the fall!

  4. 7

    Congrats on getting through your first week! I hated wearing the lab coat, especially since the RDs at my site didn’t have to!

  5. 8
    Adventurer says

    Great to hear that the internship is off to such a good start. Hooray for that! And well done on the afternoon/evening workouts, too. You’ve got a good rhythm…

    So, RD-to-be, a question: what are the pros/cons of Fuji apples and bananas? And how about seedless white grapes? Thanks!

  6. 10

    Looks like your internship is off to a good start! I used to love the 7am-3pm shift at the hospital, I wish my job now offered that shift! And I can totally relate to feeling a bit like a goober with “Volunteer” plastered across your name tag. I volunteer in an ER and most of the workers and patients think I’m a highschooler!! It’s always awkward to tell them I’m in fact 28, ha.

  7. 12

    You look very official in your lab coat and pager. Being a morning person myself, I would love those hours. My hours at home are 4am to 11pm with 5 hours sleep. Hahaha. Send some of that rain southward. Have a great Friday

  8. 15

    I am glad that your internship is starting off on a positive note! And that salad bar looks delicious!

  9. 16

    LOVE Sweet Green.. I kind of watch to try the yoga class at Lulu too. I do plan to come out to join the run group soon! :)

  10. 17

    Congrats on your first week! At my internship, the dietitians wore black scrubs and lab coats. I liked it because I didn’t have to dress up!

    For the first two weeks, I carried around a cheat binder, it was huge! Then I made a smaller one that could fit in my pocket. My pockets were always loaded down though.

    Although I knew that clinical wasn’t for me, my internship and first clinical job taught me so much that I will forever be grateful for. Have fun!

    • 18

      Jealous of the scrubs! I wish we wore them – it would be easier, especially since all outfits are covered by my lab coat and not even seen, anyway!

  11. 19

    I’m glad your internship has been going so well–it sounds like you’re learning a lot and settling in well.

    We’re headed down to Oregon again this weekend. Last weekend, we went to Wilsonville, OR, so my SO could do a 400k bike ride. This weekend, it’s Monmouth (near Salem) where we’re meeting up with the rest of the fam to dedicate a park bench and plant a tree in honor of my father, who died in January. It’ll be a nice memorial to someone who loved nature. And there will be some hiking and fun, as well.

    Have a great weekend, everybody!

  12. 21

    That salad looks great! And I love the free bread haha. I can never understand why someone would say “no” (unless they’re gluten free…) ;)

  13. 23

    I always kept snacks in my lab coat pockets too!!!

    The Lulu group looks lke a lot of fun. I have the same Chicago Marathon Tshirt as your friend : )

  14. 24

    Thanks for this post! It is so helpful, exciting, and inspiring to follow along with your journey. Im so excited to get to my internship that hearing about yours really fires me up! I start my “quantity food purchasing” class tuesday. Sounds exciting! Haha

  15. 25
    Susan Atkins says

    I actually thought of you yesterday! I got my undergrad degree in Nutrition and took a different route and chose to do pharmacy school after graduating (I’m a third year currently). I was rounding on the ICU floor yesterday and a dietitian was up there helping calculate some of the tube feeds (the facility that I’m at doesn’t make their pharmacists do it, but the one I work at does). As for poor handwriting . . . I’m facing that battle currently, but it is a relief to know that not all facilities require handwritten charts (crossing my fingers that I find some that don’t haha). Love hearing about your rotations!

  16. 27
    Lauren K says

    For the record, you are way more than a volunteer in my book :) Keep the updates coming!

  17. 29

    Congrats on your first week! Can’t wait to hear more about it. And congrats on the relay! Have a great holiday weekend.

  18. 30

    You look soo legit in your lab coat ;)

  19. 31

    Ah your intern sounds amazing. Isn’t it the best to finally be able to put into practice what you have been studying for so long! Sweetgreen looks so yum.. we need something like that in Sydney!

  20. 32

    Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!


  1. […] been eating Sabra hummus for many years now. I first got really obsessed with it while interning in a hospital for my dietetic internship – the Sabra hummus pretzel cups were available in the cafeteria and I had one every afternoon as […]

  2. […] hummus + pretzel cups are still my true love – I got super obsessed with them when I was doing my hospital dietetic internship, and have loved them ever since! So convenient. […]

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