Program Outline

The University of Virginia Nutrition Support Traineeship is a unique opportunity to achieve a higher level of practice in adult nutrition support.  The one-week clinical experience is designed to provide state-of-the-art, evidence-based information, in a practical, hands-on setting. The focus of the program is on the adult patient who requires enteral and/or parenteral nutrition support in the acute care setting, but includes planning for the transition home on nutrition support.  Participants are on-site for five days, and the traineeship is limited to 4-5 people at a time in order to allow individual attention.  Experiences include time spent discussing nutrition support consults, participating in nutrition team rounds, review of syllabus modules by way of lecture format, case studies, small group discussions, participation in Journal Club, and ample time to answer questions.  

All trainees receive a comprehensive UVA Adult Nutrition Support Traineeship manual that addresses nutrition assessment, monitoring, critical care nutrition, enteral and parenteral nutrition, fluid, electrolytes, acid-base, interpreting/evaluating medical research, and more.  The modules are fully referenced, based on current evidence-based literature, and provide a template for education at the bedside (See Syllabus Outline).  The core modules are sent to participants before they arrive, so they have a chance to read in advance and start to formulate questions before the week begins.

A survey is sent to each trainee prior to starting their session, so that we can become familiar with their individual experience level, work setting, etc.  While it is not possible to cover all topics during the week, we do use these surveys to plan the traineeship schedule and try to meet individual goals as best we can (provided there is adequate time during the week and that the topics are within the scope of our experience here at UVA). If you have questions as to whether a certain topic (or topics) will/can be covered during the traineeship, please contact us prior to registering.  We will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Trainees may choose to attend lectures of interest that occur within the Health System during their traineeship week, have additional discussions about specific topics (hepatic, renal, critical care, GI, electrolytes, etc), brainstorming sessions about specific "clinical conundrums", or discuss specific challenges encountered at outside facilities.  Experiences such as a PubMed class at our excellent Health Science Library, or observation of GI and/or modified barium swallow procedures are just a few examples of electives that may be available during the traineeship week.

A research article is critically evaluated and reviewed during our monthly journal club.  Methods for critically evaluating research are discussed, as well as "tricks of the trade" for literature review, and staying up to date.  In addition, we will discuss how current research could be translated into practice at the participant's home facility.  Experiences with nursing, pharmacists, physicians, and speech pathologists are all part of the traineeship experience.

Admission Criteria
The Traineeship is for clinical practitioners who work in nutrition support, and are interested in expanding their practice horizons and expertise.  Participants should have a basic knowledge and understanding of both enteral and parenteral nutrition support.  There are no absolute entry criteria except enthusiasm for nutrition support, and a thirst for knowledge, but practitioners should have 1-2 years of clinical nutrition support experience to get maximum benefit from the traineeship. 


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