Introduction to Critical Care Dietetics


The BDA Critical Care Specialist Group has developed the introduction to critical care dietetics to support foundational level learning.  The course aims to improve your awareness of the dietetic and physiological principles that are essential to working in the critical care setting, whilst supporting you to develop the confidence required to autonomously work in this environment.

The course is divided into 2 days of pre-course learning via the BDA Learning Zone and a 1-day classroom event (virtual option available or face-to-face option at the BDA offices in Birmingham). At the classroom event, you will learn amongst peers as you work your way through several critical care scenarios and workshops, enabling you to practically apply the knowledge learnt in the pre-course learning and further develop your network of critical care colleagues.

This course is aimed at those new to working in critical care, especially those working in isolation without a team of critical care dietitians to support them. It is aimed primarily at band 6’s and 7’s who have just moved into the specialist of critical care or having to provide clinical cover to this area. They will be working in the area but not experienced. This course is not suitable for dietitians who have no experience working in critical care and do not work in critical care.

Learning Aims

  • To become aware of and appreciate the dietetic and physiological principles that are fundamental to working in a critical care setting
  • To gain the key skills and knowledge to be able to confidently work autonomously as a dietitian in a critical care setting

Learning Outcomes

  • To be able to describe and discuss the principles of professional practice related to critical care, such as national and international guidelines and unit-based initiatives, and implement into own dietetic practice.
  • To demonstrate knowledge and ability to undertake all aspects of a dietetic assessment and development of a treatment plan for a critically ill patient, as per the BDA Dietetic Care Process


The course is divided into 2 days of pre-course learning via the BDA Learning Zone and a 1-day classroom event (virtual option available or face-to-face option at the BDA offices in Birmingham).

Delegates will need to complete mandatory pre-course learning, via the BDA Learning Zone. 

Previous participant feedback has informed us that it is highly beneficial to request protected time from managers to complete the e-learning and activity workbook when applying for this course. As such; 2 days for the pre-learning and 1 day for the classroom event.

The links to the pre-course learning will be sent out at the time of booking in preparation for the 1-day classroom event

Topics covered broadly pertain to the following five themes:

  1. International guidelines and unit protocols
  2. Assessing nutritional risk, biochemistry and refeeding syndrome
  3. Metabolic response, energy and protein targets, and effects of critical illness on nutritional interventions
  4. Nutrition therapy routes: Enteral nutrition (EN) and Parenteral nutrition (PN), routes for EN and PN
  5. ICU stepdown, handover and rehabilitation

The classroom event will build on the pre-course learning and will provide participants the opportunity to ask questions, practically apply their learning, share local practice, learn from others (including the ‘expert’ facilitators) and consolidate knowledge. A mixture of learning styles is provided between the pre-course learning and classroom event. Therefore, please note the classroom event is not a day of lectures, but engaging scenarios and workshops, based on the pre-learning.

Please note failure to complete the pre-course learning one week before the taught session may result in your place on the course being canceled.


Arrival, refreshments & networking


Welcome and introductions, the outline of the day


Biochemistry & Refeeding Syndrome workshop


Metabolic response and estimating targets workshop part 1


Morning break


Metabolic Response and Estimating Targets Workshop Part 2




GI functions, Routes for nutrition EN & PN


Afternoon break


Design the perfect enteral starter protocol workshop


Questions for the panel



16.30 Close

N.B Timings are subject to change

Upcoming dates