When it comes to nutritional needs and education, Central California has long been considered under-served. Clinica Sierra Vista in Bakersfield now has open dietetic internships available for students who have completed their dietitian training.
About Clinica Sierra Vista
Clinica Sierra Vista was initially started to increase healthcare and nutritional access to farm workers, often poor and migrant, who work the agricultural lands in Central California. Clinica Sierra Vista remains a not for profit organization serving the rural, low income, and homeless population. Clinica Sierra Vista is now one of the most comprehensive community health systems in California! Their ability to provide information to help prevent illness is invaluable.
Meeting the Nutritional Needs of the Under-Served Population
The nutritional needs and deficits of the Central California population has long been a concern for healthcare providers. As students in California’s colleges finish their studies in dietetics, finding a suitable facility in which to intern can be a difficult task. There are typically far more students than there are available slots. The average dietetic internship lasts approximately 12 months. This is after the student receives their Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University. One of the problem many dietetic students run into is the distance needed to travel to begin their internships. For example: A dietetic graduate in Northern California is finally accepted as a dietetic intern, but the position is in Central or Southern California. The chances of that student being able to pick up and move across the State are low, due to employment and family issues. This creates a dilemma: how does Central California and the San Joaquin area get future Registered Dietitians into the area, when there aren’t many dietetic programs available at the Universities in Central California? The answer to this lies in healthcare centers such as Clinica Sierra Vista being able to take on interns, thereby increasing the chances of the student staying in the area once the internship is complete. Kern County has a dearth of Registered Dietitians, which makes it more difficult for the area’s population to receive proper nutritional care.
How Long is the Average Dietetic Internship?
In order to sit for the Registered Dietitian Boards, a minimum of 1200 hours of dietetic internship must be completed. This internship must be supervised by an accredited Registered Dietitian. The average time for completed this internship is between 8 to 24 months. This period of time depend on factors such as whether or not it is a full-time internship, and the needs of the specific healthcare system. More information is available at the ACEND website.