Department of State Hospitals

About Department of State Hospitals

Located in California’s coastal heartland midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, The California Department of State Hospitals – Atascadero is a treatment facility that serves the entire state in a forensic setting. The region encompasses a rapidly growing wine industry, agricultural lands, ranches, and a carefully preserved rural quality. Opened in 1954, the Department of State Hospitals – Atascadero recognizes that mental health recovery is most effectively achieved in an environment that fosters creative problem-solving, innovation, and mutual respect within a dynamic therapeutic milieu. Treatment is designed collaboratively by a multi-disciplinary team.


Dietetic Intern

January 2019 - October 2019 Atascadero, CA
“I enjoyed learning about the unique challenges in practicing nutrition and dietetics with the population dealing with psychiatric illness. I enjoyed the variety of community opportunities made available by this internship such as working with the Food Bank of San Luis Obispo County, Public Health of Santa Barbara County, and Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County. I also feel fortunate to have been able to shadow a local private practice dietitian for two weeks. I enjoyed learning about the operations of the industrial kitchen tasked with feeding 1200 patients three meals per day, and the unique aspects of scheduling and managing production and presentation. Learning nutrition and dietetics in a psychiatric hospital was a unique and fulfilling experience I would recommend to any prospective intern that desires a challenge and rewarding opportunity.”
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