Hello! Whilst I’m busy revising and studying away for my final exam (YAAAAY), I thought that I’d share my tips so far on being a RD2B, for prospective Dietitians, current RD2Bs and even other AHPs who need a little inspiration whilst studying. I wish I’d seen blogs like this before I started, but these are things I’ve learnt along the way, which I hope help some of you who may be struggling and the basic, conventional tips aren’t really much help. Don’t forget to comment any extra tips you may have too, because sharing is caring and we’re all in this together (cue HSM bangers).
Connect on Social Media
I’ve started to tailor my social media to a more specific audience since growing my blog, and one of those is branching out to a professional audience! My Twitter is full of Dietitians and Bloggers who inspire me on both of my niches, and the Dietitians are gooood! They often have specialisms, so approaching them with any questions when your not in lectures or on placement is perfect. They’re usually all really lovely and helpful, and often post good links to resources and journals too! Following the @BDA Student twitter account is great for networking with fellow RD2Bs, as well as being a good place to find summarised research and events for students!
The BNF App
This app is free and amazing for when you’re on the go, in lecturers, reading or revising! It has an infinite list of drugs, used on both adults and children to explain what they are, what they’re used for and any side effects and interactions they may have! I use it all the time because you’re ALWAYS coming across new drugs every day!
Right. Let’s all raise our hands to the famous Armando Hasudungan! I know myself and all my coursemates absolutely love him! He’s perfect for explaining simply the physiology, immunology and mechanisms behind diseases. He’s honestly the first person I go to when I don’t understand something and I’ve watched him for years. Before I read any powerpoint or start any topic of revision, I watch videos to ease myself in to revision but also to help me understand. I even watch videos on topics we’re not learning about but I’m still interested in. I even watch them before bed (saaaad life)! There is also other amazing resources on the internet, one of my other faves being Osmosis.
The Night Before
Right, I cannot emphasis this enough. With someone with pretty shoddy mental health and someone who gets SO stressed very easily, I have to say, before an exam I am the definition of chill. Why? SELF CARE BABY! I can honestly say, that in the last few years, I’ve gone into exams being relatively chill. It may not be any benefit to my grades, but it is to my mental health. Whilst I ALWAYS revise the day before an exam (I even book the day off work too), the evening is all about me. Try meeting up with friends, go to the cinema, go to a gig! Anything what you love. I usually have a shower, do my hair, pick out a nice outfit, do some blogging, watch a film – but I always cook. Whether it be baking or batch cooking, I love cooking the night before. I even have a cheeky glass of vino with an italian dinner some days. Or sometimes, I go to the gym. Whatever floats your boat! Just do something you do and take some time off.
Grades are important and doing your best is, but let’s reiterate the fact in Dietetics: you’re training for a job, not a piece of paper with a ‘first’ or ‘distinction’ on it. Grades are important and if you do get amazing grades then go you! But they’re not everything. Most of your learning is done on the job, or on placement. Learning the basics is essential, but don’t let your grades define you. On my undergrad, I’d sit in the library for HOURS every day, cramming as much information in as I possibly could. But could I remember it afterwards? Could I fuck. Even though I’m not getting very high grades in my exams and coursework at the moment, what I learn goes in and it stays in. I’m learning techniques for life and information for the job, not just the exam. So don’t put yourself down if you’re not one for revising all day every day. But then if that’s how you roll, go for it. It’s all about how you learn best. Don’t compare yourself to other’s learning techniques (and don’t let anyone tell you you should learn a certain way too!!)
Oh and failure? It’s not as bad as it seems. I failed an essay last year, was a bit upset but I ended up learning from my mistakes and getting a pretty good mark (and ball of knowledge) out of it in the end too!
Don’t like something? Speak out!
Whilst we have to work against HCPC code of conduct, don’t fear it by any means. It can often be restrictive and very very strict and lecturers and peers can FRIGHTEN you by telling you you’re doing something wrong. You’re often told to ‘respect’ those who educate you. Yes, respect them and always be kind and polite, but if you don’t agree with their teaching, speak out! It’s your education and you have a right to talk about it, even if the code of conduct is a little dodgy around it. If there’s something you don’t agree with or don’t understand, talk! We have Dietitian’s who do guest lectures and they are honestly the best lecturers in my opinion! But they’re so so helpful, so if there is something you disagree with or don’t understand, they’re usually pretty open for discussion.
I hope these tips have helped a few of you at least. Good luck with your studying and remember, your best is YOUR best, no one else’s.
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.