Amy Taetzsch (NUTR '09)
I was so nervous and excited to start my internship… and before I knew it was over. I completed my dietetic internship at Hines VA Hospital located right outside of Chicago, IL. It started off with 2 weeks of orientation. The next 39 weeks were filled with clinical, community, food service, and management rotations. I learned so much during the internship and I really enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong, it was A LOT of work--40+ hours/week plus all of the study guides, assignments, case studies, community projects, research thesis etc. didn’t give me much time for a life. But the experience, knowledge gained, and friendships I formed made it priceless.
My undergraduate work at the University of New Hampshire prepared me well for the internship. I used skills I had learned in Critical Issues in Nutrition to help me with all of the journals that I had to read for each rotation. Working on my honor’s undergraduate thesis gave me an advantage in my internship research project for the thesis I completed on the vitamin D status of home care patients. I used knowledge from Lifecycle Nutrition to help with my counseling rotation and the assessment of different populations. I ended up co-leading a health fair aimed primarily at Hispanic high school students so thank goodness I had taken Community Nutrition, where I learned many techniques that helped the project be a huge success. And, even though Managerial Dietetics was not my favorite class, it definitely helped me pass the registered dietitian exam (yes, I did remember information from classes!).
Upon graduating from the internship, I was hired by Hines VA Hospital as an outpatient dietitian. I work closely with primary care teams and provide nutrition counseling to patients. I also recently became a certified personal trainer and am working in our weight loss program’s gym. In addition, I teach a cooking class to help veterans learn how to prepare yummy, nutritious food. I love being a dietitian and am so glad that I chose UNH to provide me with the foundation for my career.