Universities team up to train dietetic interns, improve community health in southern Nevada

Preventable persistent ailments, comparable to coronary heart illness, proceed to be Nevada’s and Clark County’s main reason for loss of life. Nutrition training empowers individuals to cut back their threat of and assist handle these ailments. University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources is collaborating with UNLV, space hospitals, neighborhood organizations and the Clark County School District to offer diet training to southern Nevadans.

Developing registered dietitians

After graduating from faculty, potential registered dietitian nutritionists apply to be matched with a dietetic internship. Completing the extraordinary, seven-month supervised studying expertise is a required step in incomes their credential. However, fewer than 68% of candidates nationally match with an internship as a result of there aren’t sufficient “preceptors,” or skilled practitioners, prepared to oversee the interns.

Aurora Buffington.

To assist, diet college with the College’s Extension workplace in Clark County function preceptors for UNLV’s Dietetic Internship Program. As a part of this work, Extension has skilled about 200 UNLV interns since 2006. Extension Specialist Aurora Buffington was certainly one of these interns, and now serves as Extension’s lead for this partnership with UNLV.

“The relationship has been very optimistic,” Buffington stated. “UNLV has been very grateful for us to offer the neighborhood rotation for them. They recognize our flexibility, and we all the time have room for an intern in our programming.”

Making room for the interns is a win-win, offering Extension with educated graduates who can help with Extension’s neighborhood programming.

Anne Lindsay.

Extension Specialist Anne Lindsay, who assists with the partnership, stated, “The interns’ experience in well being and diet permits them to create and handle diet actions at Extension occasions with little supervision. Interns additionally achieve expertise taking part in statewide and multistate packages, a few of which have prolonged past their internship and led to alternatives to writer peer-reviewed journal publications.”

This enhances Extension’s means to offer diet training in Clark County.

Karon Felten.

Additionally, Karon Felten of the College’s Dietetic Internship Program on the University of Nevada, Reno, collaborates with preceptors in Reno and Las Vegas to offer elevated internship alternatives that profit college students from each universities.

“We take graduates from UNLV into our Dietetic Internship Program and vice versa,” Felten stated.

These efforts are a part of a protracted custom of statewide collaboration. For over 30 years, the College’s internship program has positioned a few of its interns, over 100 thus far, in six Las Vegas hospitals and neighborhood organizations.

Felten stated, “We felt it was essential for UNR to work with the Las Vegas preceptors and supply a wide range of alternatives for our interns.”

Reno interns assist Las Vegas hospitals

Samantha Reineck in black scrubs in front of Valley Medical Center's emergency sign that directs patients to the chest pain and stroke center, admitting, outpatient or patient entrance.Samantha Reineck.

Training Reno interns in Las Vegas positively impacts the interns and the Clark County neighborhood.

“I by no means imagined that I might be finishing my internship in Las Vegas,” Intern Samantha Reineck stated. “But it has actually made a optimistic impression on my life. The factor that I’ve loved most is with the ability to apply all of the information that I’ve discovered in a real-world setting, serving to others alongside the way in which.”

It additionally gives the interns with a larger publicity to range, totally different cultures, kinds of hospitals and scientific experiences.

Stone Jamison in black scrubs at UMC.Stone Jamison.

“Completing my internship on the solely level-1 trauma hospital in Nevada uncovered me to individuals far past the Las Vegas space,” Intern Stone Jamison stated. “Many sufferers have been from rural communities who do not need entry to main care. This introduced me with the chance to offer details about how accessible dietary adjustments can improve their high quality of life and well being.”

Additionally, putting the Reno interns at medical services in southern Nevada provides wanted sources to the Las Vegas medical neighborhood.

“Anything that may be of instructional profit to the preceptors and interns, we attempt to help,” Felten stated. “The College has given the preceptors persevering with training programs and supplied Valley Medical Center with the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition core curriculum.”

The partnership is mutually helpful. This final match cycle, University Medical Center and its preceptor, Sally Saban, positioned two extra Reno interns than traditional when a northern Nevada hospital grew to become unable to host them.

“I referred to as Sally, and stated I do know this can be a large attain,” Felten stated. “And, due to our relationship and we respect one another, she stated she’d take an additional intern so we are able to preserve this system going.”

Keeping this system going has its advantages, particularly since lots of our state’s medical services battle to keep up ample staffing ranges.

“The interns are growing their abilities,” Felten stated, “however they’re additionally offering an incredible quantity of sources to the hospitals and neighborhood in Vegas.”

Besides their contributions on the hospital, the interns supply neighborhood programming for youth at different locations, such because the Nevada Diabetes Association Camp.

“They work with and do training for the little kiddos with diabetes,” Felten stated. “They’re giving again.”

Four women show off their demo infusion sets in front of castle-themed decorations. One points to her set using a magic wand. Another flexes her biceps to show off her set. A third lifts her shirt to show where her set is attached to her stomach.Students, residents and interns from Nevada State College and the University of Nevada, Reno sport demo infusion units, which ship insulin from a pump to the physique, at Diabetes Camp. Photo courtesy of Nevada Diabetes Association.

What occurs in Vegas

Although the Reno interns in Las Vegas are distant from their program director and the University of Nevada, Reno, they and their preceptors will not be forgotten.

Arezou Saeedi.

“We will not be absent of their studying,” Arezou Saeedi, program assistant director stated. “We’re in fixed contact with all of our preceptors, and we give them a number of help. It is a superb collaboration.”

The collaboration usually ends in the interns training in Las Vegas upon completion of their internship.

“One of our missions,” Felten stated, “is that we wish individuals to remain in Nevada and serve areas right here. Our interns have.”

For instance, University of Nevada, Reno alum Anita Renwick interned at University Medical Center and remained in Las Vegas after her coaching. Now, she’s an inpatient scientific dietitian at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas, the place she assesses infants who want further care, in addition to medical and surgical sufferers. She additionally works half time on the Medical Center, is on the board of the Nevada Association of Nutrition and Dietetics, and serves as a preceptor for UNLV dietetic interns.

“Quite a lot of our interns, even from out of state, once they go to Vegas, they keep there,” Saeedi stated. “They’ve began employment in varied well being care techniques, comparable to St. Rose Dignity Health WomensCare Center, and inside a brief time period they’ve turn out to be managers.”

But generally, interns skilled in Vegas don’t remain in Vegas.

“We’ve additionally had interns come again from Vegas to work in Reno, in rural Nevada or elsewhere with the abilities they developed there,” Felten stated.

Collaborative internships assist Las Vegas households

An necessary element of the dietetic internship is a venture to resolve or enhance a diet drawback. While some interns solely create their tasks on paper, UNLV dietetic interns positioned with Extension’s diet program in Clark County have an opportunity to do extra.
“When they’re with us,” Buffington stated, “they’ve a very good alternative. Because we’re locally, they could really get to implement their tasks. We’re a terrific place for interns to attempt issues out with supervision with somebody who has had that have.”

The interns even have the chance to learn the way public coverage adjustments impression diet, as each Buffington and Lindsay are public well being professionals.

Public well being diet tasks that UNLV interns with Extension have helped implement in southern Nevada embrace:

Every yr, the UNLV interns with Extension be part of volunteers from UNLV’s Student and Nutrition Dietetic Association to obtain coaching from Buffington and Lindsay on offering well being and diet actions for Clark County households at Extension’s Healthy Kids Festival and at different neighborhood occasions, comparable to Hoops for Hope, a basketball camp for underserved youth by Quiet Storm Foundation.

An intern helps a boy choose stalks of celery and place them in his reusable shopping bag.At Extension’s Healthy Kids Festival throughout National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, UNLV interns with Extension assist youngsters select wholesome meals
An intern takes a girl's measurements.and assist households study Body Mass Index (BMI), wholesome consuming and bodily exercise. Photos courtesy of Aurora Buffington and Anne Lindsay.
In a brightly lit gymnasium, kids wearing Hoops for Hope shirts arrange foods on a board by their healthiness, with healthy foods going in the 'Go' category, unhealthy foods going in the 'Whoa' category and in between foods going in the 'Slow' category.At Hoops for Hope, campers meet with consultants, together with from Extension, to study diet, well being, health and extra. Photo courtesy of Quiet Storm Foundation.

In offering the actions, the long run diet professionals follow the diet and well being communication abilities they should succeed, whereas increasing the actions Extension gives to the Clark County neighborhood. 

“It’s mutually helpful as a result of we wish their curiosity and experience, they usually’re required to satisfy hours necessities,” Buffington stated. “Working the competition helps them get expertise tying their information to speaking with and educating mother and father. In so doing, they assist Las Vegan households stay more healthy lives.”

Serving collectively

“Our partnerships with UNLV don’t finish at our internships,” Buffington stated. “Annie and I serve on a number of committees, departments and faculties at UNLV.”

The pair serves as graduate college for UNLV’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, a part of the School of Public Health, and for UNLV’s Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, a part of the School of Integrated Health Sciences. In this function, they assist information UNLV grasp’s and Ph.D. college students by the method of conducting analysis for, writing, and defending their theses and dissertations in order that they will graduate.

Buffington, who was inducted into UNLV’s Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health, is at the moment serving on grasp’s skilled paper committees for 3 UNLV college students and on the UNLV Dietetic Internship Advisory Board. She’s supplied visitor lectures and introduced at knowledgeable conferences with UNLV college.

Lindsay, additionally a UNLV Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health inductee, has printed papers, introduced at conferences and utilized for grants with UNLV college; supplied quite a few visitor lectures in UNLV programs; and invited UNLV college to take part in Extension committees. She additionally serves as an elected member-at-large (nondietitian) on Nevada’s Dietary Advisory Group. This group is shaped by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health to work collaboratively with the Dietitian Industry together with state licensure.

The inter-university service and partnership goes each methods. For instance, UNLV Assistant Professor Courtney Coughenour is serving on a search committee to rent a diet specialist for Extension’s Clark County workplace in Las Vegas.

Fostering a wholesome future

David St-Jules.

Lindsay and Buffington aren’t the one diet college from the University of Nevada, Reno to visitor lecture at UNLV. During the autumn 2021 semester, Assistant Professor David St-Jules helped Professor Sachiko St. Jeor, a University of Nevada, Reno professor emeritus now with UNLV’s Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, together with her graduate-level course on diet evaluation.

St-Jules gave lectures and assignments to the category on analyzing sufferers’ dietary intakes and about diet evaluation labs, that are services staffed by registered dietitians the place sufferers have their dietary well being evaluated. He additionally taught the scholars the best way to conduct nutrition-focused bodily exams. Such exams assist registered dietitians decide the extent to which sufferers’ dietary wants are being met. 

Steven Frese.

A registered dietitian himself, St-Jules organizes free workshops for nutrition scientists and other nutrition and dietetic professionals throughout the state to satisfy the persevering with training necessities for his or her credentials. 

St-Jules’ most attended workshop of 2021 was the presentation by his colleague Assistant Professor Steven Frese on the intestine microbiome’s function in well being and illness. Frese is enrolling contributors, together with these from southern Nevada, in a study on how the microbiome affects Nevadans’ health.

College lessons for Clark County children

Frese and his colleagues within the College’s Department of Nutrition are desperate to work not solely with faculty college students, however with Clark County School District college students as nicely. The Department is growing lessons for the University of Nevada, Reno’s pilot dual-enrollment program with the district.

The program empowers juniors and seniors at Centennial and Cheyenne High Schools in Las Vegas to earn as much as 9 faculty credit per semester. It goals to encourage extra youth to pursue greater training, present youth the abilities and confidence to reach faculty, and make incomes a college diploma extra inexpensive.

Victoria Gallegos, a junior at Cheyenne, stated in an interview with KTNV, “Quite a lot of us children are scared to enter faculty, and simply with the ability to expertise it’s serving to us out.”

Promoting diet in medical and dental care settings

Jamie Benedict, professor and Rethink Your Drink Program lead.

The Nutrition Department can also be serving to dentists and first care suppliers, together with these in southern Nevada, keep abreast of the newest analysis on youngsters and beverage decisions by its Rethink Your Drink Program.

The program gives timely updates on drinks and children’s health, comparable to analysis on the dangers related to sugary drinks. The effort was featured in the course of the Nevada Dental Association’s current assembly in Las Vegas. It can also be the topic of St-Jules’ subsequent workshop, held Feb. 22 at 8 a.m.

An award-winning mixture

The College’s work to offer diet training to southern Nevadans, together with in partnership with UNLV, has resulted in a couple of awards.

Felten, her colleagues in this system and her interns just lately nominated Saban for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Outstanding Preceptor Award for Saban’s work with Reno- and Las Vegas-based interns. Saban was certainly one of solely seven chosen nationwide in 2021 to obtain the dignity.

A Cisco Webex Meetings screenshot showing Annie Lindsay presenting on UNLV and UNR Health and Nutrition activities to students.Early within the pandemic, Lindsay (third from left) supplied the first-ever digital assembly presentation for UNLV’s Public Health Student Association. Photo by UNLV Public Health Student Association.

Lindsay was named UNLV’s School of Integrated Health Sciences Alumna of the Year for 2019 in recognition of her work to deal with diet, weight problems and consuming issues amongst girls and kids in southern Nevada, and for her help of UNLV. In addition to her work described above with UNLV, Lindsay has additionally raised funds to buy train physiology lab gear, and supported its Student Nutrition and Dietetic and Public Health Student Associations.

“No individual, group or establishment is at its finest when it stands alone,” Lindsay stated in a UNLV news story about the award. “Collaboration adjustments lives.”


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