Things have been off to a great start at my new rotation at Harrison Co. Public Schools. I’m pretty confident that food service is the pillar of nutrition that I am most lacking, so I’ve been looking forward to expanding my skillset in the area. This is also the home stretch of the internship, which makes this rotation even more special. I have learned so much and I’m ready to apply the skills I have learned in the real world. But first, I’m going to make sure to give this rotation the attention that it deserves. So far, I’ve already completed a few activities worth sharing.
The first activity was helping the high school cafeteria workers with the preparation of the last lunch before school let out for summer. There was a lot to get done – prepping the sour gummy worms in small plastic cups; pouring and mixing the large amounts of mac n cheese; putting buns on all of the chicken patties; and then serving the children. It was a very nostalgic moment for me because I remembered eating those same chicken sandwiches every single day for my high school lunch and there I was, making them for other kids. J I believe this is a competency I did well on: CRDN 2.4 Function as a member of interprofessional teams.
The next activity I did was sit-in on a counseling session between my preceptor and a parent of kid who attended school here. The kid has gastroparesis, which is characterized by delayed gastric emptying of fluids and/or solids without evidence of a mechanical gastric outlet obstruction. This made eating a typical school lunch extremely challenging and we were trying to figure out some options the kid could eat each day. I wanted to learn more about gastroparesis, so I found a great paper by Saliakellis and Fotoulaki (2013) that stated management of gastroparesis includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations such as small-volume and frequent meals with low content in fat and non-digestible fibers. Those with the condition are advised to avoid carbonated beverages and lying down for 1 to 2 h following meals. After some discussion with the parent and the lunch workers, I think we came to a beneficial solution for the future.
Finally, the last activity I got to experience was serving the staff members a meal after they completed their mock school shooting training. Lee’s Famous Chicken catered the entire event and we had TONS of food to serve to the faculty members. We organized 2 self-serving buffet style lines that allowed for the food to be served as quickly as possible. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the meal and a lot of them took home extra portions. This was highly encouraged because we had so much leftover food due to the high school faculty members that didn’t show up. However, we realized there was no way we were just going to throw away all the extra food, so we packed it up and sent it to a local retirement home where they gladly accepted. Even though I didn’t handle the planning, I would like to prevent a similar situation in the future so I would like to improve on competency CRDN 3.9 Coordinate procurement, production, distribution, and service of goods and services, demonstrating and promoting responsible use of resources.
The first two weeks of my newest rotation has already set the tone for the remaining time I have here. My preceptor is great, the people around us are super friendly, and working with food means that don’t go hungry often – which is a huge perk. Excited for what’s to come!
1. Saliakellis, E., & Fotoulaki, M. (2013). Gastroparesis in children. Annals of Gastroenterology : Quarterly Publication of the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology, 26(3), 204–211.