WHO IS DIETITIAN AND NUTRITIONIST?
PNDS recognizes that the differentiation between nutrition and dietetics is not universal. In Pakistan all dietitians are nutritionists however nutritionists without a dietetics qualification/training cannot take on the expert role of a dietitian. Below are official definitions for the profession of dietetics and dietitians.
ICDA( International Confederation of Dietetic Association) defines
Dietitian/nutritionist as a professional who applies the science of food and nutrition to promote health, prevent and treat disease to optimize the health of individuals, groups, communities and populations.”
EDUCATION OF DIETITIANS/NUTRITIONISTS
The minimum level of education of a dietitian/nutritionist is a bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics (BS/MSc(4 Years) from a recognized educational institution.
Dietetics education includes a practicum program (a period of supervised professional practice of at least 500-800 hours and meets the International competency standards*
*Domains of Competence/International Competency Standards: by International Confederation of Dietetic Association(ICDA)
⦁ Dietetic process and professional reasoning
⦁ EBP and application of research
⦁ Quality assurance of dietetics practice
⦁ Professional relationships, communication and partnerships
⦁ Knowledge essential for the practice of dietetics
Click here for International competency standard of education for Dietitian/Nutritionist by ICDA
Click here for the complete report by ICDA on International-Competency-Standards-for-Dietitian-Nutritionists.Click here for International-Standards-Definition-Dietitian-Nutriitionist-and-International-Education-Standard
A person with qualifications (MSC, MS /BS) & advanced training in nutrition and dietetics from the universities* Recognized by PNDS
The dietitian applies the science of nutrition to the feeding and education of groups of people and individuals in health and disease. Dietitians are health professionals who study and apply the principals of nutrition food management. The scope of dietetic practice is such that dietitians may work in a variety of settings and have a variety of work functions like supervise preparation and service of food, develop modified diets, enteral & parenteral nutrition, participate in research, and educate individuals and groups on good nutritional habits.
A person with basic qualifications (BSC /BS) and training in nutrition & dietetics (from the *universities recognized by PNDS), who works in a variety of settings supervised by a qualified nutritionist/Dietitian.
Role of Dietitian
⦁ Supervise personnel who work in cafeteria and serve food to the patients whether food is served in accordance with the instructions.
⦁ Keeping an eye on personnel hygiene / food handling practices of the workers at cafeteria.
⦁ Responsible for performing random patient meal checks at ward level at different meal times. And on tray line while assembling meals to ensure that food is served in proper order quality and condition/ disease.
⦁ Check/ receive complaints related to patient meal /food services and diet and communicate to the concerned people, and take appropriate measures within the scope of her duties.
⦁ Assists the dietitian / diet consultant in ward rounds and implement necessary changes (observed during rounds) in patient’s menus and communicate to the personnel at food services.
⦁ Assist the dietitian in all routine work, educational /research activities carried out within the hospital.
⦁ Teach basic nutrition courses to Aid nurses/ Nursing assistance etc
⦁ Observe patient food intake and report progress and dietary problems to dietician.
⦁ Plan menus and diets, guide patients and families in food selection, preparation and menu planning based upon nutritional needs and established guidelines under supervision of dietitian.
⦁ Obtain and evaluate dietary histories of individuals to plan nutritional programs under supervision of dietitian.
A person with a post graduate degree (MSc/BS/MS, PhD) in nutrition. The function of a nutritionist is to elicit, integrate, disseminate and apply scientific knowledge drawn from the relevant sciences, to promote an understanding of the effects of nutrition, and to enhance the impact of food on health and well-being of people.
Role of a Nutritionist
⦁ Counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to promote health and prevent disease.
⦁ Teach nutrition to those training to be nutritionists or dietitians as well as other health professionals
⦁ Work with media to educate the public regarding the role of nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention
⦁ Conduct basic or applied nutrition research as the primary investigator or as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
⦁ Work with the government in developing policies related to nutrition
⦁ Work with the food industry to develop nutritionally sound products and advertisements for their products.
⦁ NUTRITION WORKER is a person with an undergraduate degree with training in nutrition. A Nutrition worker may do the following tasks under the guidance of a nutritionist. May work as a data collector/editor in research projects
⦁ Provide basic nutrition education to mothers in the community regarding maternal and child nutrition.
⦁ Assess nutritional status of persons using anthropometry.
⦁ Obtain dietary information from persons using methods devised by the nutritionist.
Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists Work In A Diverse Range Of Settings Including:
⦁ Patient care:
Dietitians are responsible for assessing the nutritional needs of patients, planning appropriate diets and educating patients and their families.
⦁ Community nutrition and public health:
Nutritionists and Dietitians are involved in nutrition and health education programs. This can be at the local community level or for the population at a national level. Dietitians/nutritionists working in public health also assist with health planning, setting nutritional standards, and developing and implementing nutrition policies.
⦁ Food service and management:
Dietitians combine management skills and nutrition expertise when delivering food services in hospitals, nursing homes, meals on wheels, hospitality and catering. Dietitians also manage nutrition services and health programs.
⦁ Consultancy/private practice:
Dietitians/Nutritionists provide consultancy services to individuals, groups and organizations which include individual counseling, group programs, preventive health programs and nutrition education. Dietitians also prepare nutritional information for publication, work with the media and in public relations.
Dietitians/nutritionists provide nutrition services to individual athletes and teams to support and enhance their athletic performance. Dietitians work with novice athletes and everyday active Pakistanis through to elite sportspeople in order to help them achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
⦁ Food industry:
Dietitians/nutritionists working in the food industry are involved in food regulatory issues (food law), food safety and quality systems, consumer and health professional education, nutrition research, product development, nutrition-related educational material development marketing and public relations.
⦁ Research and teaching:
Dietitians/nutritionists work as part of research teams investigating nutrition and health issues and developing practical nutrition recommendations. Dietitians/nutritionists are also involved in training student dietitians, doctors and other health professionals. Academic or research organization (e.g. University, college, institute) Advocacy association in the health field (e.g. Diabetes Association, Celiac Association, health professional association)
⦁ Other fields:
Dietitians/nutritionists are able to transfer their skills to other fields such as management, public relations, marketing, program management, communications, media, health promotion, policy development and information technology. Media, Pharmaceutical company or association, School Nutrition Programs, NGOs working in Nutrition and Health Sector, Government departments dealing with health promotion and policy development & Military etc