A critical essay on professional development in dietetics through a process of reflection and clinical supervision

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Abstract:

Background The concept of clinical supervision is well known within the nursing profession though numerous definitions and theoretical models proposed for implementation have led to a degree of confusion. The debate within dietetics is just beginning, with the recent formation of a BDA working group seeking to clarify clinical supervision for the profession.

Aims This essay provides an overview of clinical supervision together with reflection which is considered to be integral to the process and proposes that clinical supervision can provide a vehicle for supporting continuous professional development for all dietitans.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the descriptive ‘clinical’ is used throughout the literature as this often leads to an incorrect assumption that the scope of the process is limited to acute services. However, as patient care takes many forms within a range of environments, the broader meaning of ‘clinical’ as pertaining to ‘patient care’ needs to be acknowledged. Caution in choosing a model for the profession is advised, as any model needs to fit the practice and not vice versa.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-277x.2000.00249.x

Affiliations: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, North East Lincolnshire NHS Trust, Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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