- The Application Process
- Finding a Clinical Site and Preceptor
- Academic Affiliation Agreement with facility
- Communications with Clinical Preceptors
The Distance Clinical track of Keene State College’s Dietetic Internship is unique in allowing interns to complete their 480 hour clinical rotation at a facility in their home community or geographic area of their choice. The clinical rotation is the last rotation for distance clinical interns and most will start after Memorial Day weekend of the internship year. Prior to leaving the Keene area and starting the clinical rotation, distance clinical interns must have completed all other internship requirements and coursework.
We will accept 6 distance clinical interns each year. Distance clinical interns will start in late August/Early September with the local interns and will complete the majority of their internship requirements with the local interns. It is expected that distance clinical interns will complete the full internship in 11-12 months.
Applicants for the distance clinical track must locate and secure their own clinical facility and preceptor and must include verification of their arrangements in their internship application (more information about this below). The hospital and preceptor must meet our clinical site criteria. A hospital where you have an established relationship as an employee or volunteer can be a great option. Distance clinical interns must be self starters and self directed. We will look for evidence of these qualities in your application.
The Application Process
Distance clinical applicants will complete the application process following the same guidelines as all other applicants. In addition, they will identify their own clinical site and preceptor(s). Applicants must submit the following forms with their application (these forms may be typed or hand written, but must be signed in ink by the preceptor):
You will complete your clinical rotation at one facility or hospital system. While you may work with multiple clinical RDs, you do need to designate a primary preceptor who agrees to take responsibility for setting up your clinical schedule, communicating with the internship staff, and completing your evaluations. Your primary preceptor is the only one who will need to fill out the Preceptor Information Form and Preceptor Agreement Form. In some cases, your preceptor may recommend a short placement in another hospital that provides additional services. Your primary preceptor may sponsor you at another hospital with internship approval. (For example, if your clinical site does not have a pediatric wing, your preceptor may arrange for you to work in another hospital for pediatrics.)
You may not be employed by the clinical facility during your internship rotation there.
Finding a Clinical Site and Preceptor
There are specific criteria for choosing a hospital and RD preceptor as well as tips to help locate a facility.
Guidance for Selecting a Distance Clinical Site
Author: Cynthia Knipe, Keene State College Dietetic Internship Clinical Liaison
- The facility must be a primarily acute-care facility. They can also accept “SNF” level of care patients, but the primary must be acute.
- The intern will need experience with post-op, cardiac, GI, wounds, COPD, vented patients, cancer patients, etc.
- The intern will need experience with parenteral and enteral nutrition support.
- Generally a “critical access” designated hospital cannot meet the requirements because they offer a limited range of services and transfer highly acute patients to larger facilities.
- The facility should have an average census of at least 40-50 patients with most of them being medical/acute.
- The clinical preceptor should have a minimum of two years full-time clinical experience in an acute-care setting.
- Note: LTC and out-patient experience do not count towards the clinical rotation, but up to 40 hours can be used toward “Specialty Hours.”
Our website does have a link to the specific evaluation forms: Clinical Skills Checklist and the Clinical Skills Evaluation Form. Those are good forms to share with potential preceptors so that they can best evaluate whether they can provide you with the minimum supervised practice required.
Many hospitals may already be affiliated with dietetic internships and therefore may not be able to take you as an intern. Please be mindful and understanding when you come across this situation. The following hospitals are ineligible to take distance clinical interns from KSC because they are already affiliated with NH internships:
- Catholic Medical Center, Manchester, NH
- Central Vermont Medical Center, Montpelier, VT
- Cheshire Medical Center, Keene, NH
- Concord Hospital, Concord, NH
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital), Lebanon, NH
- Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH
- Exeter Hospital, Exeter, NH
- Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NH
- Monadnock Community Hospital, Peterborough, NH
- Mount Ascutney Hospital & Health Center, Windsor, VT
- Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth, NH
- Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford, ME
- Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennington, VT
- University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT
- Valley Regional Hospital, Claremont, NH
- Wing Memorial Hospital, Palmer, MA
Clinical Rotation Guidelines and Evaluation Forms - please share these with potential clinical preceptors
- Clinical Rotation Handbook – Includes information about the clinical rotation, including instructions for completing homework assignments and evaluations.
- Clinical Tasks Checklist – A list of tasks interns are to complete during their clinical rotation.
- Clinical Skills Evaluation Form – A list of skills interns are to complete during their clinical rotation.
- Professional Development Form – This form evaluates the intern’s professional behavior throughout the rotation.
- Clinical Case Study Rubric – Your preceptor will use this form to evaluate your clinical case study presentation.
Academic Affiliation Agreement with facility
Once an applicant is accepted into the KSC distance clinical program, this agreement will need to be signed by the facility in which the intern has chosen to do their clinical rotation. Occasionally some facilities prefer to use their own version of an agreement, in that case Keene State College’s Director of Contracting Services and the facility will work together to reach an agreement.
Communications with Clinical Preceptors
After an applicant has been accepted into the distance clinical program, internship staff will contact the primary clinical preceptor and obtain copies of her/his license, RD member number, and resume; documenting appropriate credentials and experience. Preceptors will be sent internship orientation information and have the opportunity to review all clinical expectations and evaluation forms. Conference calls will orient the facility’s clinical staff to the internship staff and address any questions. The Keene State College Dietetic Internship Clinical Liaison will keep in regular contact with the clinical preceptor throughout the intern’s clinical rotation.
Preceptors will be encouraged to complete the CDR Preceptor Training Module if they have not already done so. The module provides 8 CPEU’s and is free to preceptors of dietetics students. Information about the module can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of this webpage.
Should the clinical placement site or preceptor cancel their agreement, the intern is responsible for finding another clinical site. The internship staff will assist and support this process; however it is ultimately the responsibility of the intern.