Why is it important for student dietitians to go on placements?
Crucially, dietitians have a vital role to play in the public health agenda, with responsibility in providing dietary advice and policy in a cost effective manner, to improve the lives of communities and populations across the UK. It is imperative that the profession retains and indeed increases its presence and expertise within this arena. Considering the above from a student training perspective, not only is it important for students to be equipped with the necessary skills and sector understanding to enable them to work across both traditional and emerging /developing environments, but extending the breadth of placements also increases capacity and releases pressure on NHS departments which may be struggling to cope with the demands placed upon them.
The traditional method of placement education places dietitians in the hospital or community setting to experience a dietitian’s role. Although there is a large majority of dietitians that do work in this environment, there are many dietitians who work in other varied and successful aspects of diet and nutrition.