Your final year of dietetics will be intense. Five months of placement, research, finally applying everything you learnt 3 years before and learning a whole lot more.
To make it easier, here are my top resources (in no particular order). These are essential for helping you to be the best dietitian you can be. I’ve mentioned some resources that I love earlier, but here are some others that I find are just as essential.
When you’re faced with patients on multiple medications, you’ll need to know your meds. MIMS is the best resource for this!
You could google medications, but MIMS has it all. From the use, timing, indications (when it should be given), contraindications (when it can’t be given), if it needs to be taken with food, the mechanism of action, side effects… you get the point. For all health professionals – it’s the one-stop guide. You can access a brief version, a fully detailed version or something in simple terms that would be given to the patient.
You can access this at the hospital or through your uni library.
Thank you, QLD Government! NEMO is the place for free education sheets providing a simple overview of many clinical areas. Not only are they great for patients, but for students too.
As a student, it can be tough getting your head around every clinical area. And on top of that, you need have a simple explanation for each one. It must be so simple that (at first) you’ll need to simplify your simplified explanation (ah, how many more times can I say simplify in a single sentence!).
NEMO breaks it down into simple diet-disease relationships and appropriate interventions for patients.
Practised -based EN puts the research into context. It provides a background of conditions, the role of dietetics for various conditions and grades the level of evidence. It can be good if you’re on the wards in the hospital or even for when friends ask questions. It doesn’t cover every single topic, but it’s definitely a great starting point.
Clinical Information Access Portal (CIAP)
CIAP will be on the desktop of any computer in the hospital (at least for NSW hospitals). This is where you can access MIMS (above) or UpToDate (below) really quickly. You can also access other helpful resources like journals here too.
UpToDate is like the PEN for medical conditions. It’s a database of summarising the evidence for different clinical conditions. This is especially helpful when you are reading the medical notes and have no clue what that really long medical term is. It explains the background, diagnosis/testing procedures, possible complications and/or side effects, treatment options and then it summarises it all for you.
This is so helpful as knowing the background, treatment and progression of the condition will guide you and your interventions.
Non-diet Approach Workshop (for students)
Thanks to dietitian Fiona Willer, you can learn all about the non-diet approach for FREE. Whether you align yourself with the non-diet approach or not, it’s important to know what it’s about, the evidence behind the claims and take the time to figure out what you agree/disagree with.
And if you’re interested (like I was) in the non-diet approach being incorporated into Medical Nutrition Therapy (with PESS statements and critical care patients), Fiona Willer explains exactly that in another video HERE.
Dietetic Practice: a clinical case-based approach eBook
For the latest updates and thought-provoking posts related to clinical dietetics go to Peter Collins APD Facebook Page Clinical Dietetics. It helps us to be aware of common issues (good to have before/during/after your placements).
AND he’s releasing an eBook “Dietetic Practice: a clinical case-based approach eBook”. It’s full of comprehensive clinical dietetic case studies and is sure to be an invaluable resource to anyone studying dietetics and new graduates.
It’s still in the works – so sign up to be notified when it’s released!
The Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics
This is the book to take on clinical placement. It’s got everything -from anthropometry, NRVs, biochemistry ranges, energy expenditure equations and injury factors for different conditions, sports nutrition, and more. It also includes conversions from stones to kg and feet to cm – perfect when those elderly patients talk in numbers you don’t understand.
It’s a bit bulky and can be annoying to carry on the wards. For the first few weeks, take it with you and figure out what pages you’re constantly using – then photocopy them and put them in your ward folder.
And then keep it on your desk for future reference for the more complex cases.
Texture Modifications Guidelines
Textures Poster can be downloaded here
Speech pathologists and dietitians teamed and created a framework for texture modifications. Working with textures and thickened fluids and knowing what’s allowed on each diet is all part of being a dietitian. We work closely with speech pathologists, who determine what diet is safe for our patients to swallow.
SPSS Survival Manual 2007
Pallant, J, SPSS Survival Manual 2007, Allen & Unwin
If you die when you hear statistic – this is for you. I haven’t used this yet, but I plan to use it as a refresher for my research project. Other students highly recommend it – so I’m hoping it’ll be a life saver.
These are a few of the things I know will be helpful. I’m sure there are more that I don’t know, so if you can suggest anything that would be helpful for other students – please share in the comments below.