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Clinical Field Experience
Dietetics Program

What is Dietetics Clinical Field Experience?

The Clinical Field Experience courses within the Long Beach City College Dietetics Programs provide the supervised site experience in health care facilities for dietetics students in training. This is the chance to experience food service and clinical nutrition systems first-hand under the supervision of professional credentialed preceptors. The clinical field experience courses allows students to obtain training on-site that relates classroom instruction to site application of knowledge. Students will learn and practice the skills necessary to be successfully employed in healthcare foodservice.  The field experiences are preplanned to help students achieve basic competencies. Each student will be rotated through the food service and nutrition care departments of participating institutions concurrently with their academic training. Students enrolled in the first year of the Dietetics Program will complete two semesters of F&N 230AC - Clinical Field Experience I. One-hundred-fifty (150) hours of field experience will be completed during this first year (75 hours per semester). These hours are required for the Dietetic Service Supervisor Program as mandated by the California State Department of Public Health-Licensing and Certification and are also required for the first year of the Nutrition Assistant Program.  In fact the 29-unit DSS program is the first year of the Nutrition Assistant Program.  Students enrolled in the second year of the Dietetics Program (Nutrition Assistant) will complete two semesters of F&N 240AC - Clinical Field Experience II. A total of 300 additional hours are required for this portion of field-work (150 hours each semester).   Both field classes may be taken for a total of three times in order to attain all competencies and complete all hours though typically they are completed within two semesters.

Orientation Meeting

A Clinical Field Experience orientation is held the first Wednesday of each semester at 2:00 PM in the classroom assigned to the lecture portion of the course. Please refer to the current Schedule of Classes for detailed information pertaining to this initial orientation meeting. It will be 2 hours in length. Proof of TB tests should be brought to this meeting. Students may also bring in their uniforms that day if they have questions of their appropriateness with the field coordinator.     

Course Grades

Clinical Field Experience I and II are graded on the pass/no pass system. The grade assigned to each student by the clinical field experience coordinator is determined from the following: 

  1. Hospital visitations by the coordinator 
  2. Student Field Experience Performance Evaluation by the clinical field
  3. Field Experience Performance Record and Competency Achievement forms (hours completed & evaluations) 
  4. Clinical Field Experience Notebook assignment completion: In order to receive a "Pass" grade, student should complete a minimum of half of the field assignments during the first semester
  5. Student should complete 75 hours of field work per semester in the first year of the program (DSS and Nutrition Assistant students) and 150 hours of field work per semester in the second year of the Nutrition Assistant program 
  6. Record of attendance and punctuality. Absenteeism and tardiness will lower the grade given for the course, or may cause the student to be dropped from the course   

Assignment of Clinical Field Sites

Long Beach City College maintains written agreements with facilities for the purpose of providing training sites for dietetics students. The student will receive a list of these approved sites that contain the following information regarding each facility: 

    • Site name and address  
    • Preceptor name and telephone number  
    • Time you are to report to each facility
    • Travel directions to each site and parking instructions (there are no parking fees)  
    • Specific notebook competencies that may be achieved at each site

The student will be assigned to all clinical field sites for the entire semester at the orientation meeting held the first day of the semester. The clinical field site coordinator will notify each site of the student's participation at each site. It is the student's responsibility to arrive at each site at the appointed time and complete a minimum of 5 hours at each visit. The first year field rotations are typically done on Wednesday mornings from 8:00AM - 1:00 PM (although there are some exceptions). Second year program field experience is performed at one site for the entire semester. The schedule is set between the site preceptor and the student.  The field assignments are designed to progress the student through the needed competencies beginning with food service production/management, to community nutrition services and culminating in clinical nutrition care. This progression is coordinated with the students' class work in program classes taken either concurrently or as prerequisites in previous semesters.  Upon completing all assigned competencies and field activities/assignments within the prescribed time at each field site, the student will have each competency "signed off" by the field preceptor along with required written reports and time records. These will then be submitted to the clinical field coordinator along with an evaluation form from each site at the conclusion of each field experience.   

Professional Responsibility

The student must wear professional attire (please see "Dress and Personal Hygiene" section) and display a professional attitude at all times while attending a field site. This includes being on time; calling in if unable to attend at the appointed time; willingly accepting field site assignments and completing them with no evidence of second requests; arriving prepared to work with a clean uniform (first year) or lab coat (second year), hairnet, and shoes; using appropriate communication skills, and always being congenial, cooperative, and eager to learn.  

Dress and Personal Hygiene

Students are expected to wear white uniforms and appropriate shoes for the first year of the program. Lab coats may be worn during the second year. Uniforms may be purchased from a uniform shop or department stores and may often be found in thrift stores. The appropriate dress for men is during the first year is a white shirt and white trousers. Women should wear either a white uniform dress or white slacks and blouse. Uniforms should always be neat and clean. The appropriateness of the uniform and student appearance is determined by the clinical coordinator. The student may not be allowed to attend field experience site if the dress code does not comply with established standards. Shoes should be clean, enclosed, sturdy and low heeled for comfort and safety. Because of the danger of spillage, shoes should be rubber soled. Canvas tennis shoes or sandals do not meet safety standards.


Students are required to wear identification badges when engaged in clinical field site practice. Badges are to read "LBCC Dietetic Student". Badges may be purchased at a uniform shop, name-tag kiosk, or you may purchase a clear plastic name tag at the student bookstore that will house your student I.D.  Absence Policy at Field Sites  Students are required to complete the total number of hours that he/she is assigned to a clinical field site. A time record form must be completed to document the time spent at the facility. Students need to complete a total of 150 hours during the first year program and an additional 300 hours during the second year program. Students are expected to be at the assigned facility at the scheduled time. Students who must be absent for excusable reasons must call the respective facility as soon as possible prior to the time they are scheduled to work. Hours lost due to illness or other reason must be made up. Please arrange a mutually convenient time with the clinical field site preceptor to complete the missing hours before the end of the semester. Lost hours should be made up during the rotation in which it occurred. The student must keep the clinical coordinator informed of all absences in a timely manner. After two unexcused absences the student will be dropped from the course. 

Liability for Safety in Travel to or from Assigned Areas

It is the policy of Long Beach Community College District that students shall travel to the location of assigned clinical field experience in the same manner which they travel to attend regularly assigned class. The student is responsible for transportation cost and insurance to and from the assigned field experience site. Long Beach City College assumes no responsibility in this area. The instructor shall not arrange private transportation either to or from the clinical field experience location. Accidents involving a vehicle or student: The student should receive prompt emergency treatment for any injury. If a vehicle is involved in an accident, passengers should be moved to a point of safety. The nearest law enforcement agency should be contacted. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the accident is reported to the law enforcement officials and the disposition of passengers and vehicle arranged. Each student's health care is his/her personal responsibility. Please refer to College Catalog and current Schedule of Classes for additional information. 

Student Evaluation

Students enrolled for credit at Long Beach City College will receive regular evaluations in the form of grades on a transcript at the end of each semester. Students receive both oral and written evaluations during the semester. The number of progress reports is determined by the coordinator. During a clinical field experience, the clinical site preceptor uses a planned evaluation form to document the student's performance at the end of the rotation. This review is presented both orally and in writing. Students also receive informal evaluations of their progress. This is important because the student has only a short time to acquire and practice required skills.   The clinical coordinator periodically visits the student on site to assess student progress and to address and resolve any problems that may arise. The clinical coordinator also communicates by telephone with clinical field site preceptors to address issues and check student progress.   

Field Experience Reports

At the conclusion of the final experience at the clinical field site, each student will be required to complete and submit to the clinical field coordinator the following reports:

  1. Field Experience hour reporting form (indicating dates and hours of training)  
  2. Field site orientation form
  3. Field assignments/competency achievement evaluation form 
  4. Student evaluation of clinical field site (student's assessment of field site)