Choosing a Dietitian
Selecting the right Dietitian is an important decision. In addition to the ensuring that the Dietitian is licensed and in good standing with the regulating state agency, there are other factors that you should take into account when choosing the right Dietitian. Education, experience, costs, location, and up-to-date techniques are just some of the factors that you might consider when selecting a Dietitian.
Dietitians are either registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), a national governing body, or licensed in the state in which the practice. Many dietitians are both registered and licensed. Dietitians are educated in the science of nutrition through an accredited university and spend a minimum of 900 hours after graduation, training in a clinical setting. After completing education and training, they must also take a national registration exam or state licensing exam before going into practice.
What techniques will be used to treat my condition?
Initially, a dietitian will recommend an individualized nutrition plan after a thorough interview and assessment. Usually your dietitian will ask questions regarding your diet and medical history. Sometimes your dietitian will ask you to write down everything you ate in the last 3-7 days prior to your appointment. This helps them to pinpoint exactly where improvements to your diet can be made. Your dietitian will help you to add or limit specific foods in your diet to help you reach your nutrition goals. It is also important for you to inform your dietitian and medical doctor about any medications, herbs and dietary supplements you are taking.
What type of treatment in terms of duration and frequency should you expect?
Responses to diet modifications vary from patient to patient. Some patients will see improvements very quickly, while it may take longer for others. Typically, after the initial assessment a follow-up visit will be made at which time original nutrition goals will be evaluated to ensure you are on track. The number of subsequent visits will vary depending on the nature of your condition and your success with implementing the recommended dietary modifications.
Do dietitians make referrals to other health care providers if necessary?
Your dietitian works as part of a team with your medical doctor to ensure your individualized care is appropriate. Your dietitian will also seek counsel and collaborate with other specialists when necessary.