Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics - Inherent Academic Requirements

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Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics - Inherent Academic Requirements

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Program SC353 Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Committed to equity and diversity
  • At USC, we are committed to facilitating the integration of all students into the University community.
  • Reasonable adjustments in teaching and/or assessment methods can be made for students provided those adjustments do not compromise the inherent academic requirements of the program.
  • The inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics are the fundamental skills and abilities that the student must be able to achieve to demonstrate the essential learning outcomes of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • This Statement provides realistic information about the inherent academic requirements that you must meet to complete your course and graduate. Make sure you read and understand the requirements for the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics so you can make an informed judgement about your ability to fulfil them.
Externally accredited 

USC offers Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics which meets Accreditation Standards for Dietetics Education Programs  and provides graduates with the necessary qualification to be eligible to join the Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) program.

Key nutrition and dietetic practice skills are embedded and assessed throughout the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Skills you need

The Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics has inherent academic requirements in six categories:

  • Observational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Motor skills
  • Intellectual, such as conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities
  • Behavioural and social skills
  • Sustained performance 

Before you enrol

If you intend to enrol in a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics degree at the USC, look carefully at the inherent academic requirements listed in this statement and think about whether you might experience challenges in meeting them:

  • If you think you might experience challenges related to your disability, health condition or for any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with a University Disability Adviser or Faculty staff.
Reasonable adjustments

Students with disabilities or other special circumstances may be provided with reasonable adjustment to enable them to meet the inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics if the adjustment is:

  • Logistically reasonable.
  • Likely to result in the student being able to perform the skills adequately and in a timely manner.

Observational skills

The capacity to demonstrate:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Touch 

Adequate visual acuity is required to provide safe and effective dietetic care.

Students must demonstrate sufficient visual acuity to perform the required range of skills in acute and ambulatory settings, in food service systems and in public health nutrition settings.

Students will use these skills to:

  • Weigh and estimate the serve size of foods.
  • Interpret food composition and nutritional analysis data.
  • Perform and interpret anthropometric and body composition measures.
  • Perform and interpret clinical signs and symptoms of nutrient deficiency.
  • Read and interpret medical, nursing, biochemical and medicine and feeding charts (both electronic and food preparation techniques).
  • Read and interpret food legislation, regulations and nutrition standards.
  • Observe food service systems and public health nutrition settings to identify nutrition issues and quality improvement priorities.
  • Observe, identify and interpret the physical and sensory changes to food from food processing and food preparation techniques.
  • Observe and detect subtle changes in patient's response in dietetic assessments and interviews.
  • Identify Work Occupational Health and Safety hazards in the workplace environment and react within a limited time frame.

Sufficient visual acuity is necessary to demonstrate the required range of skills, tasks and assessments to maintain consistent, accurate and safe care to self and others.

Adequate auditory ability or hearing is required to undertake a range of dietetic practice. Students must demonstrate sufficient auditory ability to monitor, assess and manage individual and group nutritional needs in diverse practice settings.

Adequate sense of touch or tactile ability is required to perform competent and safe dietetic practice. Students must demonstrate sufficient tactile function to undertake the required range of skills to assess, monitor and detect patients’/clients’ anthropometric and body composition parameters.

Justification

These are inherent requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics because the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics educates students to become dietitians who will provide dietetic care in a wide range of work settings in which case types are unpredictable. These observational skills are required to contribute safely and effectively to the promotion of health and the prevention and treatment of illness by optimising the nutrition of populations, communities and individuals.

Adjustments

Adjustments for impaired observational skills must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy to ensure safe and effective practice. Adjustments must not compromise the nutritional wellbeing of populations, communities and individuals.

Exemplars

Visual ability:

  • Applying food composition, food serve size, food preparation and therapeutic nutrient modification knowledge to review and modify dietary intakes of individuals and to review and plan menus for institutions.
  • Collecting, reading, analysing and interpreting relevant health, medical, cultural, social, psychological, economic, personal, environmental, dietary intake, anthropometry, body composition, physical examination and food supply data in determining nutritional status.
  • Conducting quality improvement projects in work integrated learning placements.
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to cues in dietary interviews during simulation activities, assessment tasks, and work integrated learning placement.
  • Working in a safe manner in acute and ambulatory healthcare settings, food service systems and public health nutrition settings.

Auditory ability:

  • Listening and interpreting information and verbal cues from patients, clients, carers, groups and key stakeholders.
  • Practising verbal communication skills during tutorial discussions, simulation and Work Integrated Learning placement.
  • Listening to instructions and feedback from multiple sources simultaneously e.g. patient, client groups, hospital staff.
  • Participate in group discussions and multidisciplinary team meetings in simulated and health care settings.

Tactile ability:

  • Performing accurate physical, anthropometric and body composition assessment.

Communication skills 

The capacity to demonstrate:

  • Verbal communication
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Writing
  • Hearing
  • Reading
  • Numeracy 
Verbal communication

Effective and efficient verbal communication in the English language includes the speed, accuracy and effectiveness of communication to ensure safe delivery of health services.

Students will use these skills to:

  • Elicit information.
  • Educate and counsel and be understood by others.
  • Communicate sensitively and with cultural awareness with others.
  • Convey a spoken message accurately and effectively in the acute, ambulatory, food service and public health nutrition settings.
  • Understand and respond appropriately to spoken instructions and respond in a timely manner.
  • Paraphrase a patient’s/client’s/group’s message to confirm understanding.
Nonverbal communication 

Students will use effective nonverbal communication to:

  • Perceive and interpret nonverbal communication including distress, a change in mood, activity or posture.
  • Communicate in a respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic, honest and non-judgemental manner.
  • Respond professionally to requests from patients/clients/groups, supervisors and other health professions in the acute, ambulatory, food service and public health nutrition settings.
  • Recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues.
  • Have appropriate awareness of own behaviours and modify these to suit the current situation.
  • Be sensitive to individual differences.
  • Maintain constant and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, posture and personal space.
  • Assess patient/client/group reactions to facilitate nutritional care.
  • Communicate in a noisy environment.
Written communication

Accurate written communication is fundamental to accurately convey information and provide consistent and safe dietetic practice. Students will use these skills to:

  • Write accurate patient/client care records that meet legal and professional standards.
  • Use grammatical structures and vocabulary that are appropriate to task.
  • Spell frequently used words, including relevant technical and medical terms.
  • Document ideas and information.
  • Construct and adapt nutrition education resources that meet professional standards.
  • Compile reports that are required within industry from time to time.
Listening

Effective and efficient hearing will be used to:

  • Participate in group discussions and in multidisciplinary teams in the health care settings.
Reading

Activities which rely on accurate reading skills are:

  • Interpreting information in formats that include hand written text, printed text, electronic texts, graphs and diagrams.
  • Paraphrasing, summarising and referencing in accordance with appropriate academic conventions.
  • Recognising an explicit purpose for reading such as gathering nutritional information, identification of specific facts or to understand a concept.
Numeracy

Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential for safe and effective dietetic practice. Students must demonstrate the capacity to interpret and correctly apply data and measurements and to manipulate numerical criteria. Activities which rely on this skill are:

  • Interpreting numerical data in specific formats.
  • Analysing food composition and nutrient intake data.
  • Analysing anthropometric and body composition data.
  • Calculating measurements from data e.g. anthropometric measurements, nutritional requirements, enteral/parenteral feeding regimens, therapeutic dietary prescriptions.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics because students must comprehend a range of information. Communication skills are a core requirement of the program because effective interpretation, recording and transmission of information improves the safe and effective delivery of healthcare.

Adjustments

Adjustments for impaired verbal communication must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure safe and effective practice.

Adjustments for impaired non-verbal communication must enable the recognition, initiation and appropriate response to effective communication in a timely and appropriate manner to ensure safe and effective practice.

Exemplars
  • Calculations involving fractions, decimals and percentages, interpretation of statistical data in complex tables and graphs.
  • Practising verbal and non-verbal communication skills during tutorial discussions, simulation and Work Integrated Learning placements.
  • Establishing rapport with patients/clients/groups during dietetic practice and responding appropriately to requests from patients/clients/groups, supervisors and other health professionals and stakeholders in work integrated learning placements.
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to cues during classroom situations, simulation and Work Integrated Learning placement.
  • Writing nutrition care plans in classroom activities and in Work Integrated Learning placements.
  • Writing nutritional feeding regimens in the acute and ambulatory care settings.
  • Creating project reports in Work Integrated Learning placements.
  • Creating and adapting nutrition education resources.

Motor skills 

The capacity to demonstrate manual dexterity which is reliant on developed gross and fine motor skills.

The fine motor skills are: manipulate measuring equipment, use hand eye coordination to perform tasks as necessary; perform physical assessments and manipulate various objects and individuals.

The gross motor skills are: moving and positioning equipment; manoeuvre around equipment and in confined spaces and over defined distances.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics because performing these tasks consistently and safely is required to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Fine motor skills are a core requirement of the program because dietetic practice requires fine motor function to perform physical assessments and to manipulate and operate nutritional assessment equipment.

 Gross motor skills are a core requirement of the program because dietetic practice involves physical demands and requires gross motor function. Sufficient gross motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Students must be able to demonstrate that they can meet the occupational health and safety requirements of the acute and ambulatory healthcare setting, food service systems and public health nutrition settings.

Adjustments

Adjustments must facilitate functional effectiveness, safety of self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care.

Exemplars

Gross Motor Skills:

  • Manoeuvre around equipment in confined spaces (e.g. institutional kitchens, hospital beds and wards, body composition laboratories, kitchen laboratories, science laboratories).
  • Mobilise safely in a variety of environments.

Fine Motor Skills: 

  • Perform anthropometric assessment, body composition assessment and measurement of food serve sizes.

Behavioural and Social Skills   

The capacity to demonstrate:

  • Ethical decision making.
  • Functional effectiveness in stressful situations.
  • Dealing with uncertainties.
  • Sufficient self-awareness to manage fluctuations in health and emotional status.
  • Adaptation to change.

The behavioural and social skills are used to facilitate professional behaviours in practice as evidenced by compliance with academic and non-academic misconduct policies, codes of conduct of the industry partners and medico-legal requirements relating to informed consent, privacy and confidentiality with patient/client information in academic and acute, ambulatory, food service and public health nutrition settings:

This ensures the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well being of the individual is maintained.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics because dietitians are accountable and responsible for ensuring professional standards of behaviour in professional practice. Dietetic practice is governed by legal and regulatory requirements and standards to enable the safe delivery of healthcare. Behavioural standards are a requirement of the accrediting body for the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics program.

Adjustments

Reasonable adjustment must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in academic, acute, ambulatory, food service and public health nutrition settings.

Exemplars:
  • Critically reflect on practice and respond appropriately to constructive feedback.
  • Demonstrate behavioural stability which ensures the student can:
    • Function effectively in a frequently demanding role.
    • Work constructively in a diverse and changing academic and Work Integrated Learning environment.
    • Work individually and as part of a team in unpredictable environments.
    • Manage events which include human suffering objectively and professionally.
    • Monitor and manage with their emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with clients, peers, supervisors and colleagues in the Work integrated Learning or academic setting.
  • Comply with policies, guidelines and codes of conduct which facilitate professional interactions with whom they engage.

Intellectual – conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities 

The capacity to demonstrate:

  • Locating appropriate and relevant information.
  • Processing information relevant to practice.
  • Integrating and implementing knowledge in practice.
  • Recalling information without reference.
  • Making measurement calculations.
Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics because information literacy skills are the basis for evidence based practice. Safe and effective dietetic practice is based on comprehensive knowledge that must be recalled, understood and applied appropriately. Students must be able to accurately acquire information and convey appropriate, effective messages. Students must be able to identify problems, create and implement nutrition management plans, and evaluate outcomes within defined timeframes.

Adjustments

Adjustments must be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements and professional standards and not compromise the nutritional wellbeing of the population, communities and individuals.

Exemplars
  • Interpreting clinical, nutritional and health data to form a nutritional diagnosis and make priority nutritional management decisions.
  • Complying with relevant codes of conduct while at university and on Work Integrated Learning placements.
  • Complying with the policies of placement providers e.g. Occupational Health and Safety and Mandatory requirements such as vaccination for Hepatitis B and the vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) of Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella (Chicken Pox) and Pertussis (Whooping Cough), blue card and national police certificate.
  • Responding to the requirement to meet the Dietitians Association of Australia National Competency Standards for Dietitians.
  • Applying organisational, business and management skills in the practice of nutrition and dietetics (e.g. effective time, workload and resource management).
  • Managing workload to deliver safe and effective nutrition and dietetic care in a timely manner.

Sustained performance 

The capacity to demonstrate the ability to maintain physical, mental and emotional performance over extended periods of time.

Physical skills are required to perform tasks over an extended period.

The mental and emotional skills are to concentrate and focus on multiple tasks for an assigned period to prioritise and enable safe and effective dietetic practice.

Justification

These are inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics because dietitians must be able to perform activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately. Activities may occur over extended periods of time. The student must be able to meet the requirement of the accrediting body for the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics program of completion of a Professional placement program, the duration of which must be a minimum of 100 equivalent working days in the acute, ambulatory, food service systems and public health nutrition settings.

Adjustments

Reasonable adjustment must support the completion of full time Work Integrated Learning placement and ensure the sustainability or maintenance of consistent and safe performance within the environment of the acute, ambulatory, food service and public health nutrition settings.

Exemplars

Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to:

  • Perform multiple tasks in an assigned period with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately.
  • Remain focussed and provide consistent responses over a Work Integrated Learning placement which may exceed usual working hours per day.
  • Maintain consistent concentration throughout classroom simulations, and field trips and whilst on Work Integrated Learning placement.
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