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Student and supervisor productivity change during nutrition and dietetic practice placements: A cohort study

Authors

  • Susan Ash,

    Corresponding author
    1. Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    • Correspondence: S. Ash, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Rd., Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Qld 4059, Australia. Tel: 61 7 31385808; Fax: 61 7 31383980; Email: s.ash@qut.edu.au

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  • Elizabeth K. Martin,

    1. School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Sylvia Rodger,

    1. Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Michele Clark,

    1. School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Nick Graves

    1. School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • S. Ash, PhD, FDAA, Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics
  • E.K. Martin, B. App. Sci., PhD Candidate
  • S. Rodger, PhD., Professor and Head of Division
  • M. Clark, PhD., Professor
  • N. Graves, PhD., Professor of Health Economics and Principal Research Fellow

Abstract

Aim

This study aimed to demonstrate how supervisors and students use their time during the three domains of nutrition and dietetic clinical placement and to what extent patient-care and non-patient activities change during placement compared with pre- and post-placement.

Methods

A cohort survey design was used with students from two Queensland universities, and their supervisors in 2010. Participants recorded their time use in either a paper-based or an electronic survey. Supervisors' and students' time use was calculated as independent daily means according to time-use categories reported over the length of the placement. Mean daily number of occasions of service, length of occasions of service, project activities and other time use in minutes was reported as productivity output indicators and the data imputed. A linear mixed modelling approach was used to describe the relationship between the stage of placement and time use in minutes.

Results

Combined students' (n = 21) and supervisors' (n = 29) time use as occasions of service or length of occasions of service in patient-care activities were significantly different pre, during and post placement. On project-based placements in food-service management and community public health nutrition, supervisors' project activity time significantly decreased during placements with students undertaking more time in project activities.

Conclusions

This study showed students do not reduce occasions of service in patient care, and they enhance project activities in food service and community public health nutrition while on placement. A larger study is required to confirm these results.

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