Information for Dietetic Interns
UPDATED: AUGUST 13, 2020
Update For Dietetic Interns Currently on Placements or Scheduled for an Upcoming Placement
Dietetic Interns on a placement have a responsibility to keep themselves, others around them, and our communities safe. In relation to the pandemic, this means reporting if they experience any SYMPTOMS of COVID-19 or if they are EXPOSED a person with COVID-19 (presumed or confirmed) within or outside the clinical environment. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who is presumptive or positive for COVID-19 it is important that you stay home and seek advice immediately. The below flow chart outlines the specific steps any learner should take when they experience symptoms or when an exposure has occurred.
If you need to go to the NOSM campus at Lakehead or Laurentian University for any reason there is a clearance and attestation process to follow. Before visiting, please contact the Manager, NODIP to advise of the nature of your visit to campus and further instruction will be sent in response.
Manager, Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program (NODIP)
Class of 2020
On March 20, 2020, there was a temporary suspension of clinical learning. As you know, the scenario rapidly evolved, and we met regularly to provide current information as soon as possible to all dietetic interns. Program contingency planning, as we awaited direction from the Accreditation Council, was a priority to minimize the disruption for you, the learners. We transitioned the academic sessions to an online delivery model and successfully supported each of you in wrapping up all practice-based research project deliverables. We explored, and secured, remote/virtual learning placements for several of you, and collaborated with clinicians to develop alternative supervised experiences for others. A few of you returned to the clinical setting in May, some in June, and now all by July 6.
Compliance with the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice (PDEP) Accreditation Standards, Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP) and Accreditation Program Policies, even during this difficult time, is a requirement. On May 26, 2020, definitive direction was provided by the PDEP regarding alternate learning activities, inclusive of maximum hours, assessment methods, and guidelines for the domains of practice.
Faculty, preceptors and training sites recognized the challenges facing you, especially given that you are so close to graduating. As COVID-19 is a fluid situation and will evolve over the next months, the Program recognizes that public health and work safety requirements may vary from community to community, and between health organizations/training sites in a community. This will affect your individualized practical training program directly. All efforts were made to avoid an increase in length of training, however extensions were necessary in most cases, and will be supported. We are fortunate to have a competency-based training model. We will ensure that each of you are able to achieve the competencies and are practice ready.
NOSM’s goal is to make every effort to continue practical training with minimum disruption. We will issue updates in the event of any disruption in your schedule. Every effort will be made to provide alternatives in the event of clinical disruption. The health and well-being of our learners, the health care professionals supporting our dietetic interns, patients, and our northern communities as a whole, continues to be a priority. If you are quarantined and asymptomatic, there will be expectations for some continued study or scholarly work. This will be communicated directly to affected dietetic interns.
Faculty, staff and clinicians have been incredible to work with. Many clinicians have provided in-kind support, some even supporting you during personal time- evenings and weekends, as they were redeployed at their workplace. Heartfelt thanks to your preceptors and advisors for being creative, flexible and supportive.
You have preserved with your academic, scholarly work and practical training. I am proud of your commitment. Thank you for staying the course. Soon we will be celebrating your success at your virtual graduation ceremony on September 22, 2020.
Class of 2021
We are looking forward to welcoming our incoming class of 2021 to the NOSM community. The registration process has been completed, and you have been provided your NOSM email account. The NODIP Office is preparing for your Orientation, which commences October 5, 2020. Online and in-person activities will aim to provide our new students with the information pertinent to the program and give them the opportunity to build connections with their peers, as well as with faculty, staff, and preceptors while respecting public health directives. Details about each day’s programming will be available in early September.
Part of your orientation this year will include information about safety when working in this pandemic. It is the commitment of NOSM and all our training site partners that you will have the appropriate personal protective equipment for your practical training and that you know how to use it.
To protect learners, health care professionals, patients, and our northern communities as a whole, NODIP will carefully move forward with placement coordination in a safe manner. Faculty, preceptors and training sites recognize the challenges facing you, especially given that you will be in your final year of practical training. As COVID-19 is a fluid situation and will evolve over the next months, the Program recognizes that public health and work safety requirements may vary from community to community, and between health organizations/training sites in a community. This will affect your individualized practical training program directly. There may be a few surprises along the way, but we are prepared to put contingencies into place that will ensure each of you are able to achieve the competencies and are practice-ready.
Individual meetings will be scheduled mid-August. If you have questions we haven’t answered, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you an answer as soon as we can.