I survived my first 7 days at WIC! Only 13 more to go and trust me, I am counting down to the end. For my internship, I spend 120 hours at WIC and 8 of those hours at a non-profit or government agency. This is only my second rotation (finished 13 weeks of FSM and School Nutrition Education). I can’t wait to finished up this rotation; not only because it is stressful, but because I will have 2 weeks off before I start my in-patient clinical rotation 🙂
So, here are some of my tips for your Community/WIC rotations:
Things to Do Before Your Rotation:
1. Brush up on WIC packages, how participants get certified, and issues in both pregnancy and infants (mainly iron-deficiency).
2. Know your assignment sheet! My rotation is only 4 weeks long; so it is important to know how to schedule assignments efficiently.
Things to Do Your First Day:
1. Sit in with as many Nutritionists as you can. Get a feel for the different styles of counseling.
2. Grab as many brochures as you can in the office. These are really useful in counseling and for quick reference.
Things I learned:
1. No matter how nice you are, some participants will not give you the time of day. Just continue to be nice and try to counteract their rudeness.
2. You will learn everything you need to know about WIC within your first week. Someone told me this before I started and it was definitely true! I sat in on multiple counseling sessions my first day and I quickly began to get the hang of the WIC packages and most common problems (iron-deficiency anemia, high juice intake, low vegetable intake, etc).
3. Bring a laptop/assignments to work on! If it rained at my location, very very few people came into the office. That being said, you will have a lot of downtime.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the charting system. Some nutritionists I sat in with, would just start typing their normal note, and I would have no clue what they were doing. They might not even think about showing you what they are doing, so just jump in and ask, or scoot in closer to see.
5. WIC used a really interesting format of chart note: A (Assessment), B (Biochemical), C (Clinical), D (Dietary), E (Environmental: mostly if anyone smoked in the house), O (Other), G (Goal: These are mostly added after the participant leaves). It was a lot simpler than I was imagining; however, with the short amount of time between participants, it is perfect for them.
Hope these tips help you on your RD journey!