I have made my first steps into a new career.
Footsteps to where?
I have just finished my first semester at ION studying nutritional therapy. I had two subjects Nutrition science and principles of nutrition. This was far harder and more time consuming than I thought it was going to be. I had up’s and downs both studying and producing my assessments. I like to share you what I have learnt from the four assessments and key reflections on the experience.
The first: was an Essay Plan covering the following:
- What does ‘explain’ mean?
- What is the Functional Medicine Model?
- What is normal digestion?
- What is hypochlorhydria?
- How does hypochlorhydria effect digestion, particularly protein and carbohydrate digestion?
- How might hypochlorhydria have systemic effects = systems function?
At the start sounded easy and straight forward and though no problem. But soon realised that I’m not that great at the planning stage of an essay I just jump in and write it and see how it evolves. I spent too much time on some parts than others and over looked parts that are far more important % wise.
The main feed back I got was to develop my knowledge by extending the research so can increase my overall grade to 2ii.
The second: was an Essay to Compare the advantages and disadvantages of a vegan diet and an animal-based diet in achieving optimum nutrition. The key point that needed to be looked at were as follows:
- Which nutrients are abundant in animal foods and more difficult to obtain from plant foods? Can careful selection of plant foods nevertheless provide adequate/plentiful intakes of these nutrients?
- How does a vegan diet impact on the macronutrient balance of a diet? What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of this?
- Are there components of animal or plant foods which have a negative impact on health if consumed in excess?
- Are there any components of either diet which may contribute to optimal nutrient intakes if consumed in abundance?
- What are the nutritional qualities of ‘substitute’ foods which may be eaten by vegans in place of meat and dairy products?
This was an extremely interesting subject for me. At the same time, I had been going through a lot of personal issues and my quality of work suffered and I got a deferred fail. When I got the feed back I felt very much personal attacked as they referred to my gramma being bad and they couldn’t understand some parts, as I’m dyslexic I do find this a saw patch as it not because I’m being lazy to check my work it’s just a weakness of mine.
When I got the feed back I felt very much personal attacked as they referred to my gramma being bad and they couldn’t understand some parts, as I’m dyslexic I do find this a saw patch as it not because I’m being lazy to check my work it’s just a weakness of mine.
Part of the feed back: “There is a clear structure here which is easy to follow. You have written a clear introduction which set out parameters of the essay. However the consistent poor expression/errors of language make the arguments hard to follow and a number of sentences are very unclear, For this reason, I have had to give a Score Referred Fail to this work”.
The Third: Was a personal development plan the key parts below:
- Initial Learning Plan and Revised Learning Plan
- Mid-semester Reflective Review
- VARK Questionnaire – Must be present content is not marked
- SWOT Analysis.
As I had not a very positive start to my study I knew I had lots to look at improving. With the first assessment, the key feed back was research so I put my efforts into that but not necessarily in a good way more into more I find the better instead of looking for quality. So with the added stress, I had at the time I just didn’t spend the time on the formatting of the work and checking it. The results really put me into a spin as was thinking I just can’t do this. So this assessment was key to look at my skills and weakness to see where I need to spend more time.
the feed back was much more positive from this assessment the main feed back I need to keep in mind is formatting (did a couple stupid mistakes) also that I need to break up my goals into smaller goals yep that me, I’m good at getting distracted by the big problem and not breaking it up. Deeper thinking also needed into things like why do I procrastinate. The mark 2i was above my expectations for semester 1.
The second for the second time: It was a much better mark I got a 2ii, as I had to do a brand new essay this time put a lot more time into making sure that the flow and some quality reference. The key point I need to improve on was some explanation some key nutrients and again some grammar improvement.
The Fourth and the final: A power point presentation and notes of the impact of stress on response divided up as follows:
- Introduction – the aim: concisely and logically set out the content of the presentation.
- Notes: No notes are required to follow slide 1
- Slide 2 – A concise, evidenced definition of stress. Do not use a quote.
- notes to follow slide 2 – Elaborate to describe the normal physiology of the stress response, picking out key words to define.
- Slide 3 – HPA axis – referenced diagram that presents the multiple impacts of stress on the HPA axis and systems function.
- Notes: 2 slides of notes to follow slide 3 – Describe the key mechanisms of action for multiple impacts of stress on the HPA axis and systems function, as demonstrated in the Slide 3 diagram. Be sure to refer to both short term and long term stress on this axis and on the aspects of systems function discussed.
- Slide 4 – Evidenced diagram to illustrate possible impacts of HPA axis dysfunction on gut function
- Notes: 2 slides of notes to follow slide 4 – Evidenced explanation of possible effects of stress on gut function. Demonstrates an understanding of the interconnectedness of a systems biology approach.
- Slide 5 – Evidenced list of possible impacts of HPA axis dysfunction on the human gut microbiome and on liver function (biotransformation and detoxification).
- Notes: 2 slides of notes to follow slide 5 – Evidenced explanation of possible effects of stress on the human gut microbiome and on liver function (biotransformation and detoxification). Demonstrates an understanding of a systems biology approach.
- Slide 6 – A concise summary of the key impacts of stress on gut, microbiome and liver function.
- Notes: No notes are required to follow slide
Luckily I passed just, I was not happy with the assignment when handing it in. The biggest reason for the bad mark was not giving enough time to the writing and editing part. I put a lot of effort into research as was an extremely interesting. but I didn’t follow the brief well and made a couple big mistakes that cost me some marks.
The main feed back again was was English and proof reading, slides 2,4 and 5 are key areas I need to put better information and make my point more clear.
- Need to plan my assignments
- Make sure my research is good quality and appropriate and don’t get carried away
- That I follow the brief
- I use correct term and scientific language
- That I make the time to write the assignment
- I have my work checked by another person
- I make sure I have time to look over my assignment and make any changes I need
With semester two starting soon I have put these 7 points as my key areas of improvements. I need to go back to my Personal development plan and break these down and put into a time line. My aim for semester two is to have 2ii for my assignments.