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Dietetic Internship Program

Internship Application, Selection and Acceptance

Contact Information

 

Eastern Health Dietetic Internship Program

About the Eastern Health Dietetic Internship Program 

Eastern Health offers an accredited post-degree Dietetic Internship Program recognized by the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice (PDEP). It has been designed to develop the competencies required of an entry-level dietitian and prepares interns to be eligible for registration with a provincial dietetics regulatory body.

The Eastern Health Dietetic Internship Program (EHDIP) began in 1982 (then known as the General Hospital Dietetic Internship). It is founded on Eastern Health’s commitment to advancing knowledge and continues to thrive because of the organizations commitment to train qualified, competent and caring individuals who are dedicated to their learning, their profession and to the organizations vision of Healthy People, Healthy Communities. Eastern Health's values are fairness, respect, integrity, connectedness and excellence. These foundational values guide the delivery of the EHDIP.
 
The mission of the program is to provide comprehensive practical learning experiences in clinical, population health, food service management and other dietetic practice areas that enable interns to develop the skills to practise competently. Through their active participation in practice-based research and quality improvement projects, dietetic interns contribute to the adoption of dietetic best practices, improvement of dietetic operational efficiencies and to the implementation of the dietitians’ operational plan. 
 
The goals of the program are:
  • To enhance learning by providing supervised practice experiences that enable interns to integrate knowledge into practice in the areas of professional practice, communication and collaboration, nutrition care, population and public health and food service management;
  • To enable the acquisition of the skills and ethical practices required to be a competent entry-level dietitian;
  • To develop self-confidence and competence in the performance of professional responsibilities; and
  • To establish awareness of and commitment to continued learning in the maintenance of professional competence.

To learn more about the Dietetic Internship Program, visit Dietitians of Canada to see a video overview of the program presented at the Atlantic Internship Forum.

 

Internship Options

Eastern Health’s post-degree Dietetic Internship Program offers two internship options:
  • Post-degree internship program – this is a 45-week practicum (starting in September of each year) offered to four post-degree interns. Students interested in this option can apply through the Dietitians of Canada annual internship selection-match process.
  • Masters practicum program – this is 35-week practicum (starting in January of each year) offered to two students of the Memorial University (MUN) Masters of Public Health – Nutrition and Dietetics stream. Students interested in this option should apply directly to the MUN Masters of Public Health Program
Rotations
 
The Dietetic Internship Program provides practice experiences or ‘rotations’ supervised by registered dietitians working in clinical, population health and food service dietetic practice areas. The rotations are designed to build on the interns existing foundation of dietetic knowledge and develop their skills and entry-level competencies. Throughout each supervised practice rotation, the goal is to gradually increase the intern’s level of responsibility, proficiency, independence and competence.

Rotations of the program provide opportunities for interns to learn from clinical dietitians and practice their skills in inpatient and outpatient clinical areas and with children, adult and geriatric populations. Clinical placement options include long-term and acute care with provincial and regional programs. Interns will also interact with various cultural population groups including French speaking, Indigenous and new Canadians.
 
Interns will be preceptored by regional nutritionists during their population and public health rotations, which have both urban and rural placement options and have the opportunity to work as a team of interns as they plan and action nutrition month activities. 
 
Interns will have the opportunity to learn independently and as part of a team, as they work together on practice-based quality improvement or research projects and are placed together in rotations that use a peer-reciprocal coaching model.
 
The program also provides the opportunity to develop food service and management skills through placement with their contracted food service companies, Morrison Healthcare (urban placement) and Aramark (rural placement) and in some cases with privately operated food service companies. Dietetic interns have the opportunity to practice their food service and management competencies using various food service delivery models, including Steamplicity.


Practice Settings

Eastern Health Registered Dietitians work in a variety of practice settings and program areas, including:

Schedule

Practice rotations are designed and scheduled considering the interns learning needs, and to enable achievement of the integrated competencies for dietetic education and practice (ICDEP) (PDF). The schedule is outlined below and may be subject to change.
 

 

Post-grad Interns

(45-week internship beginning in September)

MUN Interns

(35-week internship beginning in January)

Orientation

1 week
(occurs in September for both Post Grad and MUN Interns)

1 week
(occurs in Sept for both Post Grad and MUN interns)

Continuing Competence/
Class Days

1-2 weeks

1-2 weeks (may occur before internship starts)

Food Service and Management

10 weeks

8 weeks

Clinical Nutrition Care

20-25 weeks
(includes 4 weeks IPP; weeks vary pending availability of placement locations and/or preceptors and intern learning needs)

18-20 weeks 
(including 4 weeks IPP)

Independent Practice (IPP)

4 weeks
(included in the above clinical nutrition care rotations)

4 weeks 
(included in the above clinical nutrition care rotations)

Population and Public Health

5-6 weeks
(may include 1 week to prepare for and action items for Nutrition Month)

4-8 weeks 
(weeks vary pending availability of placement locations and/
or preceptors and intern learning needs)

Practice-Based Research/
Quality Improvement Projects

1-2 weeks

Completed during academic semester

Electives

2-4 weeks 
(weeks vary pending status of the ICDEP competencies and
availability of elective placement location and preceptor)

None.
May be an option if rotations are impacted by prior learning credit.

Vacation

2 weeks 
(occurs during Christmas)

None

Prior learning credit: Upon discretion of the Internship Director, interns may receive credit towards their competencies for previous work experience or study resulting in a shortened placement in a certain area. This must be requested and evidence presented upon acceptance into the program.


Urban and Rural Placement Opportunities

Internship rotations are scheduled in programs that operate from a number of acute, community and long-term care facilities within the city of St. John’s and in rural areas within the Eastern Health region. Placement in a variety of practice and health care settings will help interns develop the unique skills required to meet the growing demand for dietitians in rural and urban communities. Although the majority of rotations will be scheduled within the city of St. John’s health and community services facilities, based on available resources and the interns interest some rotations will be scheduled in rural locations. Interns are responsible for their own travel and accommodations if scheduled in a rural location.


Practice-Based Research and Professional Activities

Dietetic interns lead or participate in practice-based quality improvement or research projects and case studies during their internship. Some of the former topics dietetic interns have led include:
  • An environmental scan of the screening and referral process, assessment, and monitoring criteria used in the provision of oral nutrition supplements to adults on income support in a community care setting. Mikaela Gulliver and Hayley Walsh, Dietetic Interns, 2018-19 (PDF) 
  • Evaluation of mobile applications that promote health behaviour change: Can these applications be adapted for use in dietetic practice in Newfoundland and Labrador? Sarah Comerford and Gillian Rose, Dietetic Interns, 2018-19 (PDF)
  • Bedside confirmation of nasogastric tube placement in stroke-rehab patients with dysphagia. What are the best practices and policies? Sarah Comerford and Gillian Rose, Dietetic Interns, 2018-19 (PDF)
  • Cross-sectional study of the attitudes, skills and knowledge of Eastern Health dietitians in using the Nutrition Care Process. Laura Bockus-Thorne and Allison Norman, Dietetic Interns, 2016-17 (PDF)
  • Hospital Acquired Malnutrition: A Case Study. Lisa Blundell, Dietetic Intern, 2016-17 (PDF)
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome and Ascites: A Nephrology Case Study. Claire Bowley, Dietetic Intern, 2016-2017 (PDF)
  • Does ADHD affect eating patterns and how can we help families deal with the eating behaviors of children diagnosed with ADHD? Samantha Smith and Sarah Farrell, Dietetic Interns, 2015-16 (PDF)

Eastern Health dietitians and dietetic interns are active members of their profession. Find out more about the projects, programs and other initiatives our dietitians and interns are leading by clicking on the links below:

To find out more about Eastern Health dietitians and their professional practice, please visit the Allied Health and Professional Practice - Dietitians page. 

Internship Application, Selection & Acceptance

Application Requirements

All applicants are required to have a Bachelors’ degree from an accredited academic program and have proficiency in English. To find out if you are eligible for an internship, please visit the Dietitians of Canada (DC) website. Eligible and interested individuals should apply to the Dietetic Internship Program through the Dietitians of Canada Practicum Match Process. The completed DC application package must be accompanied by a $40.00 application fee, to be paid to DC. A Selection Committee will screen and score application packages. The Committee will then offer an interview (in-person or via teleconference) to those who qualify based on their application package score.

Students interested in pursuing the Memorial University Masters of Public Health academic-practicum option, should apply to this program through Memorial University.
 
If you are a student looking to gain experience in the dietetic area, consider volunteering with an Eastern Health dietitian. Contact EH Volunteer Resourcesto find out about dietetic volunteer opportunities.


Selection Criteria

  • Work experience (paid and/or unpaid):
    • volunteer, teaching and supervisory experiences
    • relevancy and length of experiences
    • work/volunteer within dietetic field
    • level of responsibility held
  • Communication skills
    • Written and oral communication sills
    • Interpersonal team skills
  • Self direction/Leadership skills
    • Organizational and time management skills
    • Community involvement, extracurricular and volunteer activities
    • Ability to set goals and show initiative
    • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Academic performance
    • Overall standing of 70 per cent or above (particularly in the last two years of university)
    • Strong academic performance, specifically in nutrition/food courses
    • Academic awards

 

The Interview
 
An interview panel of Eastern Health dietitians facilitate an interview with selected applicants. Applicants can expect to be contacted for an interview two to three weeks after the Dietitians of Canada Internship Match Process closes. Interviews are typically scheduled to align with the winter study break of most Canadian Universities (this tends to be the second last week of February each year). If an applicant cannot attend an in-person interview, they can attend via teleconference. 
 
 
Notification of Selection
 
Successful applicants will be notified of their Internship acceptance via the Dietitians of Canada Internship Match Process. Each successful applicant will be contacted to welcome them to the Dietetic Internship Program and outline the below acceptance requirements.
 
 
Internship Acceptance
 
Upon acceptance into the program, the following documents must be received no later than six weeks prior to the start of the internship (September for post-graduate interns; January for MUN Master of Public Health - Nutrition interns). All documents should be submitted via email or mail to the
Dietetic Internship Program
 (see below for contact information).

MUN Master of Public Health - Nutrition interns are required to submit all of the above with the exception of a signed affiliation agreement and proof of liability insurance.

Visit the EH Student Services webpage to find out additional information on orientation to EH, computer access, parking, obtaining an ID card and more.
 

Contact Information

Director, Dietetic Internship Program
Professional Practice Allied Health, Eastern Health
Rm. 710 Southcott Hall, 100 Forrest Rd
St. John’s, NL, A1A 1E5
Email: dietetic.internship@easternhealth.ca
Tel: (709) 777-7673 or (709) 777-8112

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Updated Jul 3, 2019