School of Health Sciences

Why did you choose to study Non-Medical Prescribing at the University of Nottingham?

I chose to study at Nottingham because it is one of the few universities that offers prescribing for dietitians locally.

What were your overall impressions of the course?

I really enjoyed the course, but it was extremely hard work. It was a huge learning curve as a dietitian. I particularly liked that it was offered as one week per month learning rather than one day per week. This meant I could learn and focus for a whole week and digest it all over the next three weeks.

What were the most positive aspects of the course?

I enjoyed the way it was delivered. We had excellent tutors and really good resources to support us through the learning. The tutors were always available for us and I felt comfortable to go to them at any point for support.

Has it changed your approach to practice?

Absolutely. I now think much more clearly about the justification for any treatment options that I suggest or any insulin changes that I make. I am very aware of evidence-based practice and I am certainly more aware of the colleagues that I work with, supporting them and making safe insulin adjustments. I am also able to help the doctors and junior doctors a lot more with working with insulin.

What was most useful?

I particularly liked the fact that the sessions were recorded. For someone like myself who did not have the knowledge of the specialist nurses, I was able to watch the lectures again and again which proved invaluable for my learning. I also found the overall big pharmacology aspects of the course were a huge refresh for me compared to when I first learnt it in my dietetics degree.

What impact has the qualification had on your job?

I have been able to support the junior doctors on the ward with newly diagnosed patients because they don’t come across insulin prescribing very often so it’s important that they have support to do that safely. The other big impact is that I have been able to lead on projects for switching patients’ insulins to more appropriate insulins or trialling them on different insulins. It means I don’t have to get the doctors involved, I can go ahead and do these projects and lead on them without relying on the doctors’ support.

What would you say to someone thinking studying the course?

I would say go for it. It’s a huge amount of work but worth all the effort. It’s a massive step-up for dietitians because it’s very unlike any courses we would do before and it’s very different to some of our clinical practice, but it’s a huge achievement to pass and the more dietitians that we get passing the course means we have more chance of lobbying government to become independent prescribers.

Would you recommend the Non-Medical Prescribing course at the University of Nottingham to your colleagues?

Yes, I would recommend it. The lecturers were good, the course content that we were given was vast but important and thorough. I particularly liked the fact that they were allowing us to be self-assessed the whole way through. In every lecture we were able to answer questions, so we were constantly self-assessing.

How did you find the online resources attached to the course (screencasts, podcasts, quizzes)?

Personally, I found them invaluable. I watched some of the screencasts on the basic pharmacology at least eight or ten times each to solidify my learning. I was able to access them at any time which was brilliant. The ongoing quizzes and assessments particularly before our exams were brilliant for keeping on top of learning. I would certainly encourage the team to carry on offering that to students because it was a massive plus point. 


Wendy Barber

Lead Children’s Diabetes Dietitian at Derby’s Children Hospital

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School of Health Sciences

B236, Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 95 15559