Summer is a busy time for HES students to complete internships. This series will spotlight students and their intern experiences

Nikki GlissonName: Nikki Glisson

Major:  Dietetics

Internship Location:  Community Nutrition: Baptist Health HealthwoRx; Medical Nutrition Therapy: Baptist Health Lexington; and Food Service Systems Management: Baptist Health Paducah

What is your typical day as an intern?

At the beginning of the internship rotation, filling out a competency plan really helps to provide a schedule to plan out and know, on a daily/weekly basis, what needs to be done to accomplish all projects.  Knowing those, on a typical day I come into work, check in with my preceptor, then get to work on whatever needs to be done.  I'm often working on my projects by myself and my preceptor will check on me at my desk.  There are usually a couple of days each week when my preceptor (or another staff member) will take me to professional meetings and provide me with exposure to other venues in the healthcare field.

How are you applying classroom knowledge in your internship?

I am applying the knowledge I learned in class in practical ways by creating educational material in a variety of formats. I've also felt well prepared when counseling patients and encouraging behavior change from the material I learned and practiced in the classroom. You are prepared, whether you think so or not! But, there will be times you feel unprepared, overwhelmed, and that you lack the knowledge, so be prepared to ask for help! Your preceptor has once been where you are now, and they wouldn't have become a preceptor if they didn't want to help you learn! Know your weaknesses and work with your preceptor to overcome them, but always remember to be confident in your strengths!

What is one key thing you have learned during your internship?

One key thing I've learned in my internship is the importance of networking and being involved in community organizations.  There are numerous organizations and community groups in Lexington working toward bettering the health of Lexington citizens, and through being an intern I have been able to gain exposure to these groups and recognize the collaboration between numerous individuals.  At various meetings, I have seen how professionals network together and use each other's strengths in order to accomplish great strides in healthcare.

What advice would you share with other students who are preparing to complete an internship? 

If you want to learn more, it's up to you to do that.  Get involved and always ask what you can do to help.  If you see a need for the organization, be prepared to create a solution to fix it! Be as creative as possible and stretch yourself to learn! An internship really does become what you make of it!

Terms: DHN