The Effect of a Restructured Dietetic Placement Programme Centred Around the Nutrition and Dietetic Care Process (NDCP) on Students’ Confidence and Paperwork Burden
Dietetic pre-registration training includes placements within a healthcare setting. In 2011, King’s College London and London Metropolitan University updated the placement programme with learning outcomes and assessment tools, based on the Nutrition and Dietetic Care Process (NDCP). Over a two year period (2012-2014), students completed a questionnaire post their second placement, measuring their confidence with the NDCP in clinical practice and reporting the hours they spent on placement assessment tools. Fifty-three students met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-two students (42%) had completed the new-style placement, P2, and thirty-one (58%) the old-style placement, PB. Students’ median confidence level score for undertaking nutritional assessment tasks for patient care (step 1 of NDCP) was significantly statistically higher in the group that had completed P2 (5.0; very confident) than the PB group (4.0; confident), U = 464, z = 2.545, p = .011. The median hours-spent score was significantly statistically higher for PB students (3.0 equates to 1-2 hours) than P2 (2.0 equates to up to 1 hour), U = 205.5, z = -2.546, p = .011. The use of a care process model (NDCP) introduced at university to structure placement learning outcomes and assessment tools, is effective at preparing students to provide dietetic care. The reduced amount of paperwork required to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes, decreases learner burden and shortens working hours. Further research, and placement assessment tools modification, are recommended to improve the student learning experience while reducing paperwork burden for learners and practice educators.
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