Program Experiences

Supervised practice experience is provided in food service administration, clinical dietetics, and community nutrition. Interns have the opportunity to participate in several unique learning experiences, including providing nutrition care for adults and children with mental illness.

Program affiliations contribute to expanding the knowledge and professional practice necessary to becoming a competent dietitian. Clinical affiliations include Adventist Health, Vallejo, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Sutter Solano Medical Center, North Bay Medical Center, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, Sutter Sacramento Medical Center, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Davita Dialysis Centers. Affiliations with Napa Solano Head Start, Solano County Public Health and St. Helena Unified School District supplement the program's community nutrition curriculum.

The program experiences include:

Orientation and Classes _______________________________ 4 weeks
Food Service Administration ___________________________ 7 weeks
Clinical Management _________________________________ 2 weeks
Clinical Nutrition _____________________________________ 23 weeks
Psychiatric Long-Term Care_________________ 7 weeks
Staff Experience__________________________ 1 week
Acute Psychiatric Care_____________________ 3 weeks
Dialysis_________________________________ 3 weeks
Acute Care______________________________ 9 weeks
Community Nutrition __________________________________ 9 weeks
Solano County Public Health________________ 4 weeks
Child Start______________________________ 2 weeks
St. Helena Unified School District____________ 2 weeks
Education blog___________________________ 1 week
Elective _____________________________________________ 2 weeks
Vacation_____________________________________________ 1 week

State holidays are observed throughout the program
Vacation is typically scheduled during Christmas

Interns attend new employee orientation at the hospital, where they will learn about its treatment program, security measures and patient confidentiality, among other topics. Classes that are taught by the internship preceptors and guest speakers update nutrition information and prepare interns for planned clinical experiences.

Food Service Administration
DSH - Napa provides services to approximately 1,150 patients daily using a cook-chill production system and a centralized foodservice system. Interns gain hands-on experience with menu planning, large-scale food production and service methods, purchasing, personnel, management, and cost-control techniques.

Clinical Nutrition
Experiences include nutritional assessment, development and implementation of nutrition care plans, and individual and group counseling/education. The intern interacts with other health care professionals and is an active member of the interdisciplinary health care team. Clinical practice involves patients in both long-term care and acute care medical settings. The intern gains experience in medical nutrition therapy and nutrition support. Clinical experience includes areas such as diabetes, cardiology, renal, critical care, geriatrics, malnutrition and GI disorders. Interns prepare and present an oral case study, and other projects are assigned to reinforce nutrition principles in the clinical setting.

Staff Experience
The intern will be given the opportunity to work independently and use the skills and knowledge gained during the clinical rotation.

Community Nutrition
Experience will relate the role of the dietitian in administering nutritional care in the community and as a resource for respective agencies and programs. In addition, interns develop a shared blog site on which they research topics of current interest in the field of nutrition and use social media to educate consumers.


Time is set aside at the end of the program year for interns to develop a rotation in individual area(s) of interest. For this rotation, interns pick from a list of potential sites with which the program affiliates.