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  • Prevalence and Intensity of Occupational Stress Sources and Manifestations in Southwestern Indiana Teachers

    White, Erin
    Occupational stress for teachers has created an environment where the prevalence and intensity of teacher stress sources and manifestations of depression, anxiety, and burnout have become a focus in research. While researchers have oftentimes identified specific areas of concern, a gap exists in research where similar geographical regions and district groups are studied and analyzed together. Researchers from peer-reviewed journal articles have presented various sources of stress that exhibit themselves in internal or external forms. These stressors can cause physical, behavioral, and mental symptoms in educators. This research study used the Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) and demographic survey to collect data from 183 teachers in Southwestern Indiana. This data was collected and analyzed to identify the total stress score, prevalent sources, manifestations, and correlations between demographics and the TSI results. The data revealed that only gender was a predictor of TSI total stress scores, prevalent stress sources, and manifestations. The data also identified higher than average prevalent stress sources from work-related stressors and time management, as well as higher than average manifestations in emotional and fatigue manifestations. The impact of this research should be used to help districts identify areas of stress to support teacher retention, reduce stress, and promote a healthy work environment in Southwestern Indiana educational leaders.
  • An Exploration of the Relationship Between a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist’s Level of Self-efficacy to Serve as a Preceptor and Prior Preceptor Training.

    Young, Beth
    A substantial amount of research has identified the barriers and limitations to serving as a dietetic preceptor and the specific training and educational needs. However, there is limited research on how effective these preceptor training programs are in improving the self-efficacy of RD/RDN's skills and knowledge for serving as a preceptor. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between a registered dietitian’s (RD/RDN’s) level of self-efficacy to competently serve as a preceptor and the amount and type of preceptor training. The sample population (N = 145) consisted of RD/RDN’s who currently serve or have ever served as a preceptor. Participants were recruited through the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors, Indiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics membership, and through social media groups on Facebook and Twitter, whose memberships consisted of dietitians that may have served as dietetic preceptors. A web-based survey consisting of demographic questions and a 13-item Preceptor Self-Efficacy Questionnaire was distributed using Qualtrics. Findings indicated a statistical difference in self-efficacy scores between preceptors that had completed the ACEND preceptor training versus those that did not. Most participants felt that the ACEND training was moderately effective at preparing them for the preceptor role. Participants reported that the most beneficial topics in the ACEND training included preceptor roles and responsibilities, evaluation of students, managing student objectives/expectations, teaching strategies, and learning styles. Participants reported the highest levels of self-efficacy in the construct of communication skills, the next highest was management skills, and the lowest levels of self-efficacy were reported for teaching/mentoring skills. The specific skills with lower levels of self-efficacy that were identified in each construct should be incorporated into future preceptor training programs to aid in improving a preceptor’s level of self-efficacy. These skills include the ability to provide verbal feedback, assist interns with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, conflict management, the ability to assess an intern’s learning needs, and, lastly, the ability to adapt their teaching to meet an intern’s learning style. Based on the literature review and the findings from this study, it would be beneficial for the dietetics profession to have a standardized curriculum for preceptor training that provides a minimum or baseline level of skills and knowledge taught to preceptors.