Week 13 Final Project Update

I’ve pretty much solidified my final project for the course and as such, I am providing the description of it in this blog entry. I hope to speak to my peers and the instructors tomorrow to get any feedback.

My project is designed to prepare graduate students in the Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise department for ethical career decisions. Many graduate students in this department will be working with research participants or patients in health care settings. As such, it is important to prepare students for a variety of potential ethical decisions. Not only will this project provide a framework for graduate students entering their health-related career paths, but it will also be useful for future graduate students enrolled in the Nutrition Counseling course, which is the class that inspired this project. This project was developed using the ethical guidelines of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Nutrition Counseling is a course that is designed to give graduate-level dietetics students relevant counseling experience. Nutrition counselors meet with clients on a weekly basis to discuss the client’s specific health goals, assessing where the client is currently at and using motivational interviewing to facilitate health behavior change to achieve their nutrition or health goal. During these sessions, personal information is collected pertaining to the client’s health status, family history, and dietary and exercise habits. It is important to keep these health documents confidential, as well as keep the identity of the client private when discussing their case in class. Furthermore, it is also important to act professionally in public places, if a counselor encounters a client. There may be social situations where a counselor is interacting with a client outside of the counseling session and it is important to act ethically and appropriately. This project will discuss how to handle these situations using a lesson plan for students in the course, other related-courses, or for students preparing to enter their health-related career. The lesson plan will include questions for readers, dispersed throughout a handful of short and realistic case studies that will highlight important ethical standards. Current (May 2016) graduate students enrolled in Nutrition Counseling provided real-life scenarios.

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