Dietetic Internship Policies & Procedures

DIETETIC INTERNSHIP POLICIES & PROCEDURES

Insurance Requirements

The intern must have purchased and show proof of:

  • liability insurance (both professional and automobile)
  • health insurance
  • background check

Baylor University and the affiliated facilities are not liable for any injury or accident occurring during travel to and/or from areas assigned (rotations). Each dietetic intern is to be covered under a personal liability/auto insurance for travel to and from assigned affiliation sites and experiences. 

Proof of insurance (professional liability, automobile, and health) will be provided to the program director at the beginning of the program.

Liability for Safety during Travel

Baylor University and the affiliated facilities are not liable for any injury or accident occurring during travel to and/or from areas assigned (rotations). Each dietetic intern is to be covered under a personal liability/auto insurance for travel to and from assigned affiliation sites and experiences.

Injury or Illness While In a Facility for Supervised Practice

The affiliated entity will provide the same emergency medical care to the intern as would be given to employees. Payment for the treatment rendered for the illness or injury will be the responsibility of the intern.

Background Check Requirements

The Baylor University Dietetic Internship requires all interns to complete a background (criminal) before beginning the internship and present the results to the program director. In the case of a criminal record, the intern may not be eligible to complete the necessary learning experiences in various facilities and would therefore not be able to complete the dietetic internship.

Drug testing will be required for some of the supervised practice facilities and if so, two options appear – 1) the intern must pay for the test 2) the site will test the intern.

Site Specific Requirements

Each supervised practice site may have additional requirements. These must be met by the intern in order to participate in supervised practice at that site. These include, but may not be limited to:

  • A complete shot record
  • Must have had or started the Hepatitis A&B shot series
  • TB skin test, and then again in 1 year
  • Drug testing
  • Flu shot

Any additional site requirements not stated in this handbook will be communicated to the intern prior to their rotation. The intern is responsible for making arrangements and for payment of any additional test required by a supervised practice site.

Complaints

Complaints and grievances specific to the DI will be filed and handled in the following manner.

  1. As the initial step in the process, the dietetic intern should provide in writing any concerns regarding the dietetic internship program to the Director of the Internship Program.
  2. Following the receipt of the written complaint, a meeting will be scheduled between the intern and the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program.*
  3.  If the intern feels the concerns are not adequately addressed by the program director, the intern can make an appointment with the Chair of the Family and Consumer Sciences Department.
  4. If the intern is still not satisfied, a meeting can be arranged with the Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

To file a general academic based complaint with the graduate school, the intern will go to https://www.baylor.edu/reportit/ and use the reporting mechanism they feel most adequately fits the complaint.

*A dietetic intern can request a review and consideration of disciplinary action taken against him/her. The dietetic intern will notify the Director of the Dietetic Internship in writing of the challenge to the prescribed disciplinary action. If, following the meeting with the department chair and the college dean, the intern is not satisfied, the dietetic intern will follow the general appeals procedure for academic matters concerning graduate students.

Filing Complaints with ACEND

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) will consider and review complaints that relate to a program’s compliance with the accreditation/approval standards.  This should occur only after the intern has exhausted all other options available to them through Baylor University and the Dietetic Internship. More information about the procedure after this complaint has been sent in can be found at https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/public-notices-and-announcements/filing-a-complaint-with-acend

Contact information for ACEND:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190

Chicago, IL 60606-6995

Phone: (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400

ACEND@eatright.org

The intern is protected from retaliation as a result of filing a complaint related to the dietetic internship program.

Program outcomes data are available upon request from the program director.

Contact Information: LesLee Funderburk, Ph.D., RD, CSSD, CSCS at LesLee_Funderburk@baylor.edu Mary Gibbs Jones Building Room 108 (254) 710-7318

Retention & Remediation Procedures

With regard to the dietetic internship program retention and remediation procedures, the following sequence will be initiated. On the occasion the dietetic intern is not performing in a satisfactory manner as noted by the preceptor, program director or faculty, the following procedures are followed:

1) The dietitian (preceptor) in the affiliating facility will notify the dietetic intern of his/her unsatisfactory performance orally and in writing. The information will be provided to the DI director.

2) The dietitian (preceptor) in the affiliating institution shall notify the Director of the Dietetic Internship concerning the dietetic intern’s unsatisfactory performance;

3) A conference will be scheduled and held to include the dietetic intern, the affiliating facility’s dietitian (preceptor), and the Program Director of the Dietetic Internship. At this meeting a written plan for improvement will be developed and signed by all the parties at the conference identifying the specific knowledge and skills that must be satisfactorily demonstrated and the expected time frame for completion of the improvement plan;

4) If the unsatisfactory performance is academic, the director of the internship program will explore tutorial support and remedial instruction available to the intern. Student support service available to the intern include those available through Baylor University’s provision of free tutorial support to all of its students. Including Americans with Disabilities Act: Any student who needs learning accommodations should inform the professor immediately at the beginning of the semester. The student is responsible for obtaining appropriate documentation and information regarding needed accommodations from the Baylor University Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA) and providing it to the professor early in the semester. The OALA phone number is (254) 710-3605 and the office is in Paul L. Foster Success Center - Sid Richardson - Room 190.

5) If performance improves to an acceptable level during the agreed upon time allotment as signed by the involved parties, the dietetic intern will be allowed to continue in the internship program;

6) Further stipulations and remedial actions will be developed to facilitate improvement in performance.  If the follow up does not provide appropriate improvement/change as noted and signed by all parties, the dietetic intern will  will file an appeal and the Baylor protocol will be followed.  (insert the website for this) Following these procedures, if unsuccessful, the dietetic intern will be dismissed from the internship program;

7) If the performance issue is not academic (versus unethical behavior, substance abuse, etc), the intern may remain in the master’s program, but will be removed from the internship.

Routine

Formal and Informal assessment of intern learning will occur routinely. Preceptors will complete assessment reports after each rotation and may have performance and progress reports regularly during the rotation.  The procedure will include weekly meetings with the preceptor for oral discussions; completion of preceptor written evaluation of the intern within one week of completion of the rotation as well as a written evaluation of the experience/preceptor by the intern at the conclusion of the rotation.  These will be submitted either electronically or hard copy to the DI director for assessment.

Disciplinary & Termination Procedures

Disciplinary and termination procedures: Compliance with Baylor University and affiliating facilities policies will be required by the dietetic intern. Failure to comply with these may result in the intern being placed on probation or be terminated from the program. If an infraction of affiliating facility policies occurs, the intern will be notified verbally and in writing by the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program.  A formal meeting will be scheduled to address the infraction which will include the Dietetic Internship Program Director and the dietitian (preceptor) in the affiliating facility. Documentation of the infraction will be placed in the intern’s file as a permanent record. Depending on the infraction, and as deemed necessary, the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program may consider probation or termination for the intern based on the policies and guidelines outline in the Baylor University Student Policies. Examples of policy infractions may include but are not limited to: failure to meet academic/internship requirements, failure to pay tuition/fees, breech of patient or facility confidentiality, unethical behavior, substance abuse, violent behavior.

Rotation Work Schedule

The dietetic intern will participate according to the schedule assigned by the affiliating facility and will participate in his/her learning experiences on any day of the week (Tuesday- Friday & an occasional week-end) scheduled by the supervising dietitian (preceptor). The dietetic intern can be excused for special meetings and workshops that have been approved by the DI program Director and the supervising dietitian (preceptor) at the affiliating institution. Approved meetings or workshops will count towards the total hours per week of planned experience for the dietetic intern.

The Dietetic Internship will begin approximately mid-August and end approximately mid-May.  Course work follows the academic calendar of BU. The Dietetic Internship will allow for 4 personal days which can be used for illness, additional holidays, and other needs. In addition, to the 4 personal days, two holidays, and a week at Christmas will be included. There is no set vacation for the interns nor for leaves of absences in excess of the allowed days as noted. If additional time is taken due to a facility holiday or other prior approved circumstances, it must be made-up. The program should be completed in a 39 week time period. Specific details related to policy relating to vacation, holiday and absences are as follows: Regarding vacation time – none will be scheduled during the dietetic internship program; if the intern requests or the facility requests and the intern is willing to work on the specified holiday, the intern may agree to work on the holiday and then be given compensatory time off. Specific calendar dates will be provided each intern based on individual rotations and timing in line with the facility.

Vacation – Vacation time is not scheduled during the dietetic internship program

Personal Days – Dietetic interns will have four (4) personal days. The personal days are to be used for personal reasons or illness.  Supervised practice hours missed will be made up in consultation with the site preceptor and the DI director.

Holidays – Interns will be given an equivalent two (2) holidays and one (1) week at Christmas (using one week during the academic Christmas break). At the intern’s request or at the facility’s request and intern’s willingness to work on the holiday, the intern may agree to work on holidays and then be given compensatory time off. If an intern is in a facility that is closed on certain other days (federal or state), interns will need to use one of their personal days or make-up the 8 hours at some time during that that rotation.

Decisions on additional scheduling is intended to be done with consideration of the following:

1) The time to be made up should be in the area of practice the dietetic intern missed as long as the affiliating facility is able to schedule the time and intern;

2) The dietetic intern should be scheduled for learning experiencers meeting those competencies not completed and in areas for which she/he has shown least competence as evidenced by previous evaluations and preceptor observations.

Absence from Practicum

Anytime an intern needs to be absent from an affiliating institution (including inability to arrive at the rotation site due to weather) they may choose to use one of the personal days or they can ‘make-up’ the time missed upon the approval from the affiliating facility and the Dietetic Internship Program Director. The intern will notify the Director of the Dietetic Internship of any personal days taken. IF the number of days absent exceeds four, the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program will use his/her discretion to determine which of the methods will be used considering the scheduling load of the affiliating facility and the needs of the dietetic intern to schedule the dietetic intern for the extra days.  The two options are:

  1. The dietetic intern may be scheduled for additional hours/week until the time is completed;
  2. The dietetic intern may be required to stay after the formal conclusion of the program to make up the missed time.

If missed time is not made up, then the intern will not have completed the dietetic internship and will not receive a verification statement.

Tardiness

The intern should be informed of the start time at the initial contact. Interns are clearly expected to routinely be a few minutes early for their experiences. “On time” is defined as 15 minutes early. It is a good idea to discuss with the intern after the first tardy how they plan to make up the time they missed because of their late arrival. The second incident prompts a counseling between the student and Preceptor and/or the Dietetic Internship Program Director to develop a corrective plan.

Student Records

Dietetic Intern’s personal files are maintained for each one in the internship Program Director’s office. The locked electronic file will include application materials, health records, DPD verification statement, internship experience evaluations, and other written materials or correspondence related to the dietetic interns’ involvement in the dietetic internship program. The intern may have access to his/her file at any time except for any documents for which the intern has waived their right to access, i.e. recommendation forms/letters or confidential documents from preceptor to director. The files are to remain in the program director’s office or they may be kept electronically in a secured location at all times.

Release of Student Information from Education Records

Information related to privacy of student information and access to personal files is located at https://www.baylor.edu/registrar/index.php?id=84500

  1. The university policy for protection of privacy and private information is adopted by the program and department in keeping with federal guidelines.
  2. Baylor University and the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences uphold these rights by following the Family Education Rights to Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

As a part of the dietetic internship, all private information provided by the intern as a part of the application process to the internship program and graduate school will be kept confidential. Internship files are located in the office of Dietetic Internship Program Direction in a designated locked file cabinet. A dietetic intern’s evaluation is discussed in private with the dietetic intern, supervising dietitians (preceptors) and program director present (if requested). The only exception will be if either the dietetic intern requests and/or approves other persons to be present. In that case both the dietetic intern and dietitian (preceptor) must agree to the presence of the third party. Copies of the written evaluations will be provided to the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program and filed in the intern’s file. Before any of the dietetic intern’s assignments or evaluation are shared, permission will be requested of the dietetic intern to share the information.

Dietetic Interns will be responsible for maintaining the record of their supervised practice hours (dates and times), CRDNs addressed, obtaining signature of the preceptor verifying the completion of the time.  These records will be maintained and submitted each rotation and at the end of the internship.  Weekly submission will be available electronically.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Baylor University complies with all applicable federal and state nondiscrimination laws. Baylor University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. This statement can be found here on Baylor’s website.

Complete information about the Dietetic Internship at Baylor University is available at https://www.baylor.edu/fcs/index.php?id=940864