St. John's Hospital in Oxnard, Calif.
I am currently volunteering at St. John's Hospital in Oxnard, Calif., and I work directly under the Chief Clinical Dietitian. I have been working for over a month now and have gotten to see a variety of atmospheres related to dietetics in the hospital. On my first day I was introduced to the staff in the kitchen. The chefs will occasionally provide the staff with certain dishes to try, and when I was in there I was lucky enough to sample his low sodium meatballs. One had a very minimal amount of salt in the tomato sauce while the other had none at all. He asked us our opinion so that he could use the preferred one for the patients' meals.
One important task I have been given is analyzing test trays. At lunchtime one of the employees from the kitchen will bring a test tray into the office for me to check the temperatures of each of the foods, the beverages, and to make sure all of the necessary utensils are on the tray. I have to taste each item on the tray, record its temperature, and rate its appearance and odor. The food is surprisingly really good and I would have gladly finished the enchiladas they had one day! Another day was a tray for someone on a diet that only allowed them to have soft foods, and I have to admit that that one made me a little nervous to eat. The trays are tested very frequently and at the end of the month the recorded data is used to see how the kitchen performed. To supplement this data, we also go around to the patients rooms and ask them about their satisfaction with the food. The information we gather is extremely important and is used for immediate improvement.
I was also fortunate enough to sit in on two webinars with the dietitians. One was about health care and malnutrition of patients in hospitals and the other was a discussion about different fortifiers for breast milk. In addition to working hands-on with the food and listening to the webinars, I also spend a lot of time editing informative worksheets. They contain dietary information about illnesses such as diabetes and kidney disease, as well as how to restrict certain minerals depending on each medical condition. Even though it is a simple task, it educates me more about clinical nutrition and the differing needs of certain patients.
I am really enjoying working with all of the dietitians and seeing the components of clinical nutrition. Even though I want to go into sports dietetics, it is such a great experience seeing the multiple sides of the field.
Sydney Morris - Junior | Midfield/Forward | Woodbridge, Va.
Croda Inc. in Edison, N.J.
As an American Chemical Society and Society of Chemical Industry Scholar, I was given the opportunity to acquire experience in the chemical industry field through an internship with Croda Inc. in Edison, N.J. Croda is a world leader in naturally based specialty chemicals which are sold to virtually every type of industry. I am interning in the research and development department in the personal care division. Specifically, I am interning in the hair care applications lab as an applications scientist. In the lab, a range of hair care products are formulated with specialty Croda ingredients. My projects include formulating hair care products such as shampoos and conditioners with specialty Croda ingredients. Often these projects are at the request of companies such as L'Oreal, Estee Lauder and Procter & Gamble. These shampoos and conditioners are then sent to the Product Validation and Claims Support (PVCS) lab to be tested for effectiveness. The PVCS lab utilizes special instruments such as scanning electron microscope, rheometer, and spectrometer to gather quantifiable information about the structure and properties of hair. For example, hair fiber strength, shine, and penetration of hair color dye. I am honored to have been recognized as a scholar and to have the opportunity to work with such great, innovative individuals at Croda Inc.!
Taylor Katz - Junior | Forward | Jericho, N.Y.
Beach Clean Up at Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge in Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.
I recently participated in a beach clean up at Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge hosted by the Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society, where we spent the morning collecting garbage along the shoreline. The biggest problem with the garbage, besides the obvious polluting of the waters, is that many fishermen leave their fishing lines lying around. The fishing wire is very hard to see and animals get tangled up and suffocate while trying to escape from it. As we were leaving the beach, one of the volunteers spotted a live crab that was caught in fishing wire. Thankfully we were able to cut it free and return it to shore. It was a beautiful and peaceful morning. I will be volunteering with the Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society this summer to help keep the environment clean, preserve wildlife, and prevent the invasive species.