Insight Into Internship – Part 3

It’s time for another instalment of Insight Into Internship – a brief look at all of the fun/interesting/random things I have experienced in learned in each placement. Today we are looking at my second Clinical I placement!


Another internship placement has come and gone. My second Clinical I placement was with the BC Cancer Agency – Vancouver Centre. This placement was a big change from my first placement for a variety of reasons – I was paired up the whole time with my fellow PHSA intern (we were at different locations for our first placement), we spent time with all of the RD’s working at BCCA, and the environment was oh so very different from what I had just experienced at BC Children’s Hospital. Not only did I have to shift mind set from working with children to working with adults (pediatric cancer patients are treated at Children’s Hospital), but also experiencing a population where mortality is very much something that each and every one of the patients is facing. I’m not gonna lie – after the 1st week there, I wasn’t sure about working at BCCA. It was depressing at times. I really didn’t know if I would enjoy having a 3 week stint there.

Fortunately, my mind set turned around, and by the end of the 3 weeks, I was sad to have to move on. Yes, there were plenty of sad, heart-wrenching stories to hear, but there was also such a sense of hope from many patients. It helped that all of the RD’s working at BCCA were great role models, and allowed both of us interns to get out there and work independently with patients. I really felt I was able to develop many of the key counselling and documenting skills I will need for my not-so-distant career. I felt a sense of confidence and validation that pursuing this path was the right decision, and that I will be successful as an RD when I’m done.


Future RD interns – be prepared to receive A LOT of printed resource materials. I need to figure out a good filing system for everything!

Alright, enough of the meaningful insights and stuff. Time to list off some of the highlights from the placement!

  • I had a few opportunities to develop my phone consultation skills. In fact, I think I might actually like doing phone call appointments!
  • I was able to sit in on some counselling sessions where an interpreter was needed. Definitely something I’ll need to be comfortable with living in Metro Vancouver.
  • Attending a nutrition information session just for breast cancer patients. Because resources are limited, RD’s really only see the patients at highest risk of nutrition related issues, so most breast cancer patients don’t have the opportunity for one on one sessions.
  • Got to see patients completely on my own. And didn’t feel uncomfortable doing so!
  • Attended lunch time education sessions on nutrition related cancer research.
  • Created a variety of smoothie/milkshake recipes for the kitchen to use for inpatients, including a vegan option.
  • Had some exposure to patients also seeking complementary alternative therapy, and discovered I have an interest in finding out more about this.
  • Received some excellent resource books to peruse, one of which I even purchased for my own reference library.


I even tried out a version of one of the recipes in The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook. Stay tuned for that post later on 🙂


So far, internship has been a great learning experience. Sure, there have been ups and downs, but actually getting out there and putting all that school knowledge into practice, and seeing how RD’s work in different areas has been great. As with my last placement, it was a little sad to leave BCCA, especially since I won’t be back until the spring. But with my preceptor I set up some possible goals/areas to work on once I’m back, so I have that to look forward to 🙂

For more information on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, please visit the Canadian Cancer Society or the BC Cancer Agency.

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Categories: Dietetics, Internship, UBC


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  1. Insight Into Internship – Part 5 | french fries to flax seeds - December 17, 2012

    […] Insight Into Internship – Part 3 […]

  2. Insight Into Internship – Part 10 | french fries to flax seeds - March 20, 2013

    […] Clinical 3 experience was that I got to go back to the BC Cancer Agency. It was really nice to return to a place I had been, not only because I already had a good idea of what to expect, but to also show my preceptors how […]

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