I’ve now successfully moved in to my own place! I still lack furniture, which is driving me slightly nuts, but I’m moved in! So it’s time to tell you about Orientation.
Our Orientation was 10 days long. I’m not going to go through day-by-day, but I will give you an overview. Here are the highlights of our Orientation:
- We met a lot of our preceptors at multiple meet-and-greets, some of which are graduates of our internship so we were asking them a lot of questions about what to expect
- We got an overview of what we will do in each rotation
- We got our rotation schedules (It was a relief to find out where we were all going and when.)
- We got an overview of all the projects we have to do (There’s a lot!) and some other requirements (being an active member of our local dietetic association, volunteering, etc.)
- We got tours of the two facilities we’ll be at the most
- We went through employee orientation (Since VA dietetic internships are paid, we’re kind of considered employees. I say “kind of” because we don’t get the same benefits as full employees.) We also got poked and prodded by Employee Health a lot, since we all had to meet some health requirements. It wasn’t that bad, since the nurse we were with is hilarious and awesome, but after a while, you get sick of being told to come in to get poked with another needle.
- We got pagers! (Trust me, this was a highlight. We felt like real interns.)
- We took a lot of tests. We had a medical terminology test which we had to pass (which we all did) before we could start our clinicals . We also had a test on diabetes, a test on medical nutrition therapy, a test on health disparities…. We may have other tests, but I can’t remember them all. Other than the medical terminology, the other tests were just to gauge our knowledge levels. We didn’t have to worry about passing them so no one studied for them. We’ll have to take the tests again at the end of our internship and show improvement.
Of course, the first day was meeting each other. While we had already introduced ourselves via email, it was great to finally meet in person. It was also nice to know I wasn’t the only one having trouble finding a place – one intern said it took her a lot longer than she expected to find a place and another had a place but moved out after 5 days because she found out it had a bed bug and cockroach problem. Ew!
We’re all from different backgrounds, so we’re all bringing very different things to the internship which is great. Some of our rotations and our projects are done in pairs, groups, or all together, and so far it seems like we do a pretty good job of working together.
Overall, orientation was pretty good. It was overwhelming at first, but by the end of the ten days, we were all raring to go.