My final rotation for the Cal Poly Dietetic Internship was at the Central Coast Treatment Center for Eating Disorders. This was one of the most challenging rotations that I have experienced thus far, and I am very grateful that this was my last rotation. I was able to compile all of the skills that I have learned and utilize them in this setting. Walking into this setting I was very scared, to be completely honest. I was afraid of interacting with clients that were aggressive or experiencing a lot of emotions. The second that I sat in on the first client session I realized that these girls weren’t scary. They were human beings that were hurting and struggling with a mental illness that I have never known. When they experienced aggression or depression I wasn’t afraid of their emotions. I allowed them to experience what they needed to feel and provided space for them to do so. I can’t encourage my future dietetic professional enough to not fear your client’s reactions or emotions but to lean into them.
Wellness Promotion Project
My wellness promotion project looks a little different for this site than my other sites. I needed a project that allowed me to fulfill the requirements that my preceptor set for me, include a presentation for the Tuesday night nutrition group, provide a recipe for the group, and a supplemental material that practitioners could use for education and reference. The wellness promotion project was “What does my body need?” In eating disorders, it’s really important to provide nutrition education from a lens that does not include calories, numbers, or extremely specific needs. I made the presentation about what the different macronutrients and micronutrients do for your body. I then created a menu for the cooking dinner that would be featured in the presentation showing all of the different macronutrients and micronutrients in the foods that we were going to be eating. I then created an reference sheet for the dietitians at the treatment center. They requested that I create a reference of the different vitamins and minerals eating disorder patients tend to be deficient in, the amount of supplementation they need, and the brand/product that was the highest quality to recommend.
Nutrition Education Material
The education material that I created for the treatment center was requested by the lead dietitian. She often has clients who will substitute cow’s milk for a plant-based milk because it is less scary to the eating disorder. In light of weight restoration and nutrient needs, cow’s milk is often preferred among RD’s in the eating disorder treatment community. My preceptor asked that I create a material that shows the different nutrients that each milk provides and highlight the pros and cons of each.
My third presentation of the internship was a presentation to the staff at the treatment center. I created a presentation on body perception in anorexic patients. This was based off of a talk that my preceptor had heard a few years ago. The research then was showing that there was something about a malnourished brain that caused it to perceive its body as larger than it actually was.
I had to create two different versions of my presentation. I found so much research that I wouldn’t have had time to give explain all of my findings. When I was going through the topics, however, the staff was extremely interested in my findings so I made an extended version of the presentation with more research included. I created this extended version so I could send out it out to any staff members that were interested. It was too large to post on this portfolio but I included the shared link from Google Drive below.