Tag Archives: riderwood

Last Rotation– Riderwood!

riderwood villageI am currently in my final rotation (besides one elective week before graduation) at Riderwood Village in Silver Spring, MD.  My partner and I are learning all things food service at this non-profit retirement home for six weeks total.  Here is a list of some things we’ve done so far (only some- we’ve done so much in only 2.5 weeks):

  • Learned about staffing, scheduling, and job descriptions
  • Assisted with food prep (chopping vegetables, cooking, etc)
  • Performed SWOT analyses
  • Observed the process of making pureed foods
  • Met with the dining services human resource director, financial director, and executive chefs to discuss their roles
  • Interacted with the residents of independent living and assisted living communities

The main thing we’ve been doing, however, is planning out our theme meal.  The Riderwood Residents apparently always look forward to the UMD Dietetic Intern-run theme meals that run throughout most of the year, as each pair goes through.  Each pair picks a theme to base a luncheon on, and we are responsible for marketing, decorations, menu formulation, budgeting, preparing, and serving the meal.

Our theme meal is on Friday June 10th, and our theme is famous classical composers.  Now, I know what you’re thinking…how could that ever work?  What does that have to do with food?  And as we were brainstorming random theme ideas on the first day, neither Ala nor I thought the classical music theme would actually be the one that we did.  However, the executive chef indicated that it might be a good one to work with, so we went for it.

Riderwood theme meal entitled Symphony at the Potomac

It’s actually coming along really well.  We chose certain composers and looked at the region they were from.  Our composers are from Russia, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Austria, so we have menu selections from those areas of Europe.  I happen to be a classically trained pianist which has come in handy!  Part of our marketing strategy is playing one of the many pianos featured across Riderwood and telling the residents who come to listen all about our theme meal.  They seem very interested!  Our meal will be featured in a dining room known as the Potomac Cafe, so named our event Symphony at the Potomac.

I’ll keep you updated as our progress continues!


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Long Term Care: Check!

Last week I had the pleasure of being at Riderwood Village.  I worked in the Rehab and Long Term Care (or LTC, nursing home) areas, although Riderwood also has independent and assisted living.  I honestly didn’t think I’d be too crazy about this area of dietetics, however I ended up loving it.  The residents were so sweet and I learned so much from them!  When we’d walk to another building for lunch, I once saw this couple that was sharing a walker and going for a stroll around the Riderwood Campus.  They’d take a break at every bench they saw, and then keep going.  It was the sweetest thing!

Many of the LTC and rehab residents had dementia, Parkinsons, and other debilitating conditions, but others were very…spunky! Like one man in his 90’s that was telling stories and cracking jokes at a mile a minute, and another woman who at a BMI of only 17 was still cracking jokes with her family.  Plus, my preceptor was fantastic- and a former University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Internship graduate!

The one thing I saw most of in these residents was weight loss, dehydration, and stages of dementia.  All three are very strongly linked to nutrition!  Weight loss and dehydration are for obvious reasons, but dementia is because often it comes with eating aversions and difficulties that cause weight loss and dehydration.  I learned how closely LTC dietitians must work with Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists.  I LOVED the teamwork environment of LTC!

Now, I am currently at University of Maryland Dining Services for some food service and wellness…updates to come 🙂

Not Your Average Internship

Match for Internship

The Greatest Relief EVER!

For those of you not in the field of nutrition, you may be wondering why I am blogging about a silly little internship.  So I can share stories of getting coffee for the boss? Doing menial tasks to assist the real workers? Silently suffering at the bottom of the ladder in the hope of one day being hired?

While I’m sure that would be a thrilling blog to read, this is NOT that kind of internship.  Instead, I like to think of it as nursing school, but for dietitians.  A college degree is required, and completion of an internship is necessary to obtain the coveted “RD” (Registered Dietitian) credentials behind my name so I can get a job.  It’s sort of a graduate program that you pay for, but you don’t earn graduate credit.  Basically, I am in career limbo.

My dietetic internship has a ton of different rotations and sites that I will be blogging about.  For example, I’ll be working at a local hospital for my clinical rotation, Riderwood Village and UMD Dining Services for my foodservice rotations, Food & Friends and School Lunch for my community rotations, and IFIC (International Food Information Center) and CNPP (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion) for my information technology rotations.  My internship director explained this process as “A 10.5 month job interview.” All the rotations will definitely help me pinpoint where I would like to go in my career, and who knows, maybe a job will come out of it as well!

Getting here wasn’t necessarily simple.  For each internship I applied to, I had to write a slightly different essay, fill out lengthy forms, and solicit three letters of recommendation from my work supervisors and professors.  The various internships I applied to had different requirements and different due dates; this caused me many afternoons of stressing out at the post office, triple-checking to make sure I had everything in order for an overnight, traceable delivery (I couldn’t risk my applications getting lost in the mail!)

After that, there was a long period of waiting: first for an invitation for an interview, and eventually for match day.  Match day was the day that we found out 1) If we got an internship 2) which one we got.  No, we weren’t offered admission from different programs and then got to choose; instead, we had to rank the internships, they ranked us, and we were matched by a computer system.  Sound stressful? It was.  Of course, the <50% acceptance rate to dietetic internships didn’t help with the anxiety.

Fortunately, on that fateful day, I was matched to the UMD internship, and here I am!  I loved the variety of rotations within the program and its focus on nutrition communications and information technology.  I could not be more excited to get started!  First up: clinical rotations!