The teaching clinic
Our nutrition teaching clinic
On our nutrition science and practice course the close integration between class and clinic ensures that, once you have qualified, you have the clinical experience you need to enable you to become a confident practitioner.
What happens in the teaching clinic?
In clinic you will learn to evaluate your clients’ health needs and nutritional status, and how to research and then make recommendations about dietary changes, supplements, appropriate laboratory tests and lifestyle. Our clinic clients have an initial consultation with at least two follow-up appointments. The expectation is that, as far as is possible, you will see your clients through all their clinic visits. This enables you to work in the same way as you will later in your own practice, and to build your clinic portfolio, which forms part of your assessment. You will be working under the supervision and guidance of our clinic supervisors who are all experienced nutrition practitioners. At each stage they will help you to put your learning of theory and skills into practice to become confident with client consultations. In clinic we follow the CNHC Code of Conduct which gives you a framework to work within, helping you to stay safe in your practice in our teaching clinic and when you are qualified. You will also use BANT Terms of Engagement - a contract between you and the client that lays out individual responsibilities.
You will attend 6 days in the first year and 7 days in the second year. In the second year you will also complete two practitioner observation days visiting a practitioner of your choice or locations of nutritional interest. The teaching clinic is run on Mondays and are allocated well in advance.
How does this actually work?
On your clinic compulsory weekend in January of term two, we support you in the practice of motivational interviewing techniques, neuro-linguistic programing (NLP) and transactional analysis. This will help you to motivate your clients, which is an essential tool in a nutrition consultation. We also teach you to present information to patients - either written or verbal - in a way that is easy to understand.
This leads to having the chance to practise your learned skills with each other before you see real patients and in these sessions you will act as both the client and the practitioner. After this long weekend you will be observing and taking client consultations. In the NCA teaching clinic our clients are seen by a “lead student” and the supervisor, and all the other students who are attending clinic that day observe via a video link from the clinic into the teaching room. Your supervisor will include everyone in a group discussion about the client. You will find this ‘before and after’ consultation process particularly useful when you are the ‘lead student’ taking the consultation. We also video record consultations which will further help with feedback and you will be able to re-run the recording in order to reflect upon your performance.
By the end of the first year you will have started to gain confidence at leading the client consultations with on-going support from the clinic supervisor and your confidence will continue to build over your second year.
At the end of the taught two years you will be confident to start your own practice and join the profession.
Clinic Supervisor Sally Duffin:
"I am excited to lead the clinic supervision team at NCA, supporting our students on their journey to becoming fully qualified practitioners. The clinic gives students opportunities to utilise the theory and skills they have learned so far, develop their techniques as practitioners and effectively manage real life health issues. It is a pleasure to guide them through this process and share in their knowledge and development."
What our students say about our teaching clinic:
"I really enjoyed working in the College clinic but it was a little daunting at first! However, I always felt well supported by the clinic supervisors as I explored and developed my own clinic personality, and learned to handle the different characters and conditions of the clients that I saw over the course of the two years."
"Perhaps the biggest gem in the NCA’s programme is that clinical training begins in the first year. The opportunity to take theoretical learning out of the classroom and apply it in a clinical setting is fabulous, and a wonderful way to gain confidence in a clinic environment, for those who wish to progress as practitioners."