Studying-nutrition-gives-students-at-Tulane-PRC-skills-in-community-programs

Studying nutrition gives students at Tulane PRC skills in community programs

A class of Tulane dietetic interns who are training to be Registered Dietitians, did a one-week rotation with the Tulane Prevention Research Center in fall 2017.

While at the Tulane PRC, the 20 students created five single nutrition education workshops. The students not only designed the didactic information, activities and evaluation of the workshops but facilitated the workshops as well. The information in the workshops had to be evidence-based, but also relevant, engaging and interactive. The five topics were how to: 1) read nutrition labels on food products; 2) reduce salt intake; 3) make healthy choices when dining out; 4) integrate physical activity in the day; and 5) and add fruit and vegetables to meals and snacks.

The dietetic interns are gaining the knowledge and practice to pass the registered dietitian exam to be licensed as Registered Dietitians, or RDs. RDs are health care professionals who can assess and treat nutritional problems of clients and patients.

In the process of developing the health education workshops, the interns worked on all aspects of community-based health promotion planning.
"This rotation taught me that implementing a program has many factors to consider," said dietetic intern Andrew Adorno. "It's basically problem-solving as it relates to target audience, education level, activities, research, resources, funding, timing, evaluation, and more. I was surprised to learn about how many factors to consider when planning community programs."

Dietetic interns learned to translate scientific, evidence-based information to be not only easy to learn, but also personal and interesting. For many of the interns, this was both the most challenging and rewarding part of the work.
"The most challenging part was doing something original and fun," said Bailey Doctor, one of the interns. "Nutrition is a widely discussed topic; it’s easy for things to get boring quick."

The Tulane PRC plans to use the nutrition education models for the benefit of community-based organizations and partners, as well as incorporate the modules into a toolkit for wide dissemination and use.
"These students provided a great foundation for us to develop materials that our partners and others in the community can use," said Carolyn Johnson, Tulane PRC director. "Mentoring and training students is a pivotal part of our work as a university-based center, and we enjoy watching them learn and grow and move forward to become highly valued professionals in the field."

By Naomi King Englar, Tulane PRC Staff
February 2018

(Photo by Tulane PRC Staff: Dietetic interns lead the workshop on reducing salt intake.)

Topics:   training , health communication , diet , nutrition , obesity , community health

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