Practicum Policies and Procedures

Dietetic Technician AS Degree

Criminal Background Checks.
A background check will be required of all students who will participate in field experiences (practicums) as part of their educational program. Background checks are necessary for learning experiences involving children, elderly, patients, or other vulnerable populations. A Level II background check will be provided to students in the DIE 2000 class. The Level II check is at the student’s expense and is required to pass DIE 2000 and continue in the program.
Additional background checks may be conducted at any time during matriculation in the program. Students who are convicted of felony offenses, as referenced in the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics, cannot participate in the program, and they must withdraw from the class and the program. Please be advised that some affiliates may require a student to submit to a drug test. Failure to submit to the affiliate’s required drug test will not result in program dismissal unless refusal results in the student's inability to complete the Program's terminal competencies for practicum performance.
Insurance Requirements.
Dietetic students will be required to purchase health insurance coverage in order to participate in practicums. Health insurance may be with the carrier of the student’s choice. Professional liability insurance is recommended and may be obtained from the carrier working with members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Students should obtain $1,000,000/$3,000,000 malpractice coverage and $1,000,000 personal coverage.
Liability for safety in travel to or from assigned areas.
Transportation to and from HCC and the various curriculum sites will be the responsibility of each student. Since public transportation is very limited in the Bay area, it is necessary for the dietetic technician student to have use of an automobile. In addition, dietetic technician students are liable for safety in travel to or from assigned areas.
Dress Code.

In order to promote a professional image, the Dietetic Technician Student is required to wear professional attire. Students should wear HCC Dietetic Technician Student patches at all times within practicum sites. These can be purchased at the HCC bookstore. Food Practicum sites may require additional uniform supplies and footwear. Clinical practicum sites will require the purchase of a white lab coat with the HCC student patch attached. All uniform and supplies are the responsibility of the student. Students should wear closed-toe, comfortable footwear, professional dress, with the moderate use of makeup, jewelry, and perfume.
Student Replacement of Staff.
It is the policy of the Hillsborough Community College Dietetic Technician Program that dietetic technician students will not replace dietitians or staff at practicum sites, however, students may provide staff relief as part of the learning outcome process.
Practicum Evaluation.
Successful completion of practicums requires:

  1. Completion of all scheduled hours.
  2. Completion of all objectives and assignments within established levels of performance. 
  3. 3. Satisfactory evaluation from facility preceptor and supervising faculty member.

Performance is formally assessed during and at the conclusion of each practicum by the preceptor, program director and clinical practicum supervisor. The evaluation and unit assignments will then be given to the Program Director who will review all material when turned in with the portfolio. The Program Director will review any major areas in need of attention with the student.
Informal assessment and feedback will be given to students by preceptors throughout the practicum and by the practicum coordinator as needed. Further practicum instructions are given to students upon enrollment in such practicum.
Practicum Schedule

  1. It is the responsibility of the Program Director and Clinical Practicum Coordinator to develop the master schedule for practicums with consideration of preceptor’s schedule, student academic schedule and holidays. The master schedule is subject to change.
  2. Unless otherwise scheduled or determined by the practicum instructor, the dietetic technician practicum will consist of a two, 6-hour days each week. This provides a total of 180 hours of supervised practice per practicum and 540 hours total. 
  3. In the event of illness, the dietetic technician student will be responsible for notifying the practicum coordinator and preceptor prior to the beginning of the rotation of duty.
  4. In the event of illness in excess of 2 days, a doctor’s certification verifying the illness and specifying clearance to return to rotation duty will be required. 
  5. In the event that an absence interferes with successful completion of any experience objective, that time and any missed assignments must be rescheduled and completed at the discretion of the practicum instructor and the staff preceptor. Absences due to illness greater than 2 days must be made up.
  6. being late to class is not acceptable and may lead to disciplinary action.
  7. In the event of an injury at a practicum site, notify immediately the FACILITY host preceptor or supervisor on duty and the Practicum Coordinator to determine the best course of action.

Facility/Preceptor Evaluation
At the end of each practicum rotation, the dietetic student will complete a practicum evaluation. This process evaluates the preceptor’s and practicum site’s ability to meet the prescribed competencies for the unit. Results from the faculty/rotation evaluations are kept confidential. Information from this evaluation is used by the Dietetic Technician Program Director to make positive changes in the program.