Nutrition-based health professionals are increasingly high in demand owing to the lucrative career opportunities and job satisfaction. To correctly capitalize these professional trends, students who complete graduation and then masters or postgraduate diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics must enroll themselves in a hand-on internship to ensure the value-add on top of their post-graduation degree.
A nutritionist internship done from a reputed hospital can help in advancing the skillsets of fresh nutrition post-graduates along with preparing them for career advancement.
A professional internship after a regular master’s or postgraduate diploma course in Nutrition and Dietetics is an integral part of the curriculum that prepares the students to take on the clinical challenges later on in life.
Generally, after the course completion, students are entitled to undergo an internship training of three months, which is a mandatory period, or six months at a hospital which is recognized by Indian Dietetic Association and has at least one registered dietician in the dietetics department. It should be a super-specialty or multi-specialty hospital.
Registered dietician (RD) is a credential provided to professionals authorized by Indian Dietetic Association. Those who possess this credential are supposed to uptake individual specific academic and clinical practice requirements.
How will a nutritionist internship help students?
As per Indian Dietetic Association (IDA), clinical dieticians are trained professionals who handle medical, nutritional therapy. The internship period of either three months or 6 months is going to help the candidate as follows:
Assessment of patients’ nutritional status
Determining the dietary needs of patients
Planning normal and therapeutic diets
Taking ward rounds to meet in-patients
Participation in interdisciplinary team rounds/meetings to discuss patient cases and identify nutrition risks
Development, implementation, and evaluation of nutrition intervention
Diet counseling during hospitalization and on discharge, based on the patient’s condition
Nutrition counseling, dietary recommendation, food selection and preparation of nutrition guidelines for out-patients both individuals and their families
Diet counseling in specialized clinics like Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Paediatrics, Oncology, AIDS, Obesity, Neurology, Plastic Surgery, and so on
Tasting the food prepared by the kitchen and giving feedback