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Dietetic Internship Preceptor Orientation

The mission of the Dietetic Internship Program is to provide a high quality supervised practicum that prepares entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists and promotes life-long learning, meaningful engagement, and service to the region.

Goal 1 Graduates will become entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists practicing in North Carolina and Appalachia.

Objective 1.1: “At least 80% of responding employers of dietetic internship program graduates will indicate satisfaction with graduates’ preparation for entry-level practice.”

Objective 1.2: At least 80% of program graduates complete program/degree requirements within 36 months (150% of the program length).

Objective 1.3: 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.

Objective 1.4: The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.

Objective 1.5: Of graduates who seek employment, 75% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

Goal 2 Graduates will pursue individualized professional development activities and engagement in service.

Objective 2.1: At least 80% of program graduates will complete a professional development activity within the first year of program completion.

Objective 2.2: At least 80% of program graduates will pursue service to the profession of dietetics as a preceptor, leader, or through civic engagement within 5 yrs post- graduation.

Program outcome data available upon request.

Dietetic interns entering the dietetic internship program have demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to pursue a career as registered dietitian nutritionist.

Faculty, preceptors and dietetic interns practice according to the Code of Ethics for the Nutrition and Dietetics Profession.

Faculty, preceptors and interns embrace ACEND’s vision to advance excellence in nutrition and dietetics education and values objectivity, integrity, accountability and respect.

Faculty and preceptors foster an environment that promotes intern acquisition of the required knowledge, skills and professional behaviors to excel as an entry-level dietitian nutritionist.

Dietetic interns are challenged to actively engage in the learning process.

Intern Evaluation and Feedback Process

To ensure that all interns have comparable experiences when at different practicum site placements, the following plan has been developed:

  1. The Dietetic Internship Program Director and/or Clinical Coordinator will meet with all new preceptors to review DI program materials, including the competencies, learning outcomes, and activities related to the specific practicum.
  2. For each practicum, there will be designated assignments completed by all interns, regardless of site placement, to assess student learning outcome achievement.
  3. Dietetic Interns will submit weekly logs throughout each practicum identifying the competencies they met, activities they observed, and activities they performed.
  4. A living document (e.g., Google document, etc.) will be maintained for each practicum and updated weekly to reflect the completed competencies and activities for each intern. This document will be reviewed weekly by the instructor of record for the practicum course, allowing for assessment of comparability of intern experiences.
  5. Mid-point evaluations will be incorporated into each practicum and will be completed by both preceptors and interns. Evaluations will provide additional insight into intern achievement of learning outcomes and comparability of experiences between practicum sites.
  6. If, based on assessment of weekly logs and mid-point evaluations, it is determined that an intern’s educational experiences are not comparable at a specific site, the DI Program Director and/or Clinical Coordinator will contact the lead preceptor for the site to discuss concerns and to develop a plan to provide interns with the necessary learning experiences. The DI Program Director and/or Clinical Coordinator will follow-up weekly with the intern/preceptor to assess follow-through with the established plan. If there continues to be deficiencies in the learning experiences, interns will be reassigned to a new site placement where comparable learning experiences can be provided.
  7. Preceptors from each practicum will be invited and encouraged to provide feedback annually regarding practicum competencies and rotation activities via direct communication, participation in Advisory Board meetings, and/or completion of an anonymous Qualtrics survey.

Roles and Responsibilities of DI Preceptor

The preceptor is to teach the intern the skills and knowledge required to function as an entry-level dietitian or manager in the preceptor’s area of specialty.

  • Orient the intern to the facilities, objectives, learning experiences and due dates.
  • Review the schedule and competencies of the rotation with the intern.
  • Complete orientation to unit checklist on the first day of the rotation with the Intern.
  • Inform other employees of the dates when the Intern will be in his/her area.
  • Meet with the Intern at least once each week to discuss projects/concerns.
  • Correct, return, and review written projects within one week after receiving them from the intern.
  • Complete appropriate Intern evaluation forms by the last day of the rotation. Any deviation from this rule must be pre-approved by the Internship Director.
  • Provide immediate positive feedback and constructive criticism throughout the rotation to the intern.
  • Give guidance throughout the rotation and especially with written projects to the intern.
  • Act as a resource person when the intern has questions.
  • Refer the intern to appropriate resources when needed.
  • Be aware of internship policies and procedures.
  • Enforce policies and procedures when needed.
  • Discipline the intern as needed.
  • Act as a mentor and function as a team player.
  • Serve as a role model at all times.
  • Empower Intern to an interdependent, but autonomous level of function.
  • Review, in a timely manner, the intern’s progress with the Internship Director at the midpoint and end of the rotation.
  • Provide constructive feedback on the Program Evaluation Form
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