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Registered Dietitian

Registered dietitians, or nutritionists, assess and provide for the nutritional needs of the patient with a disability. They assist the doctor and provide a treatment plan which may include the following:

  • Ideal body weight, caloric, and dietary needs

  • Foods that help facilitate swallowing

  • Special diets

  • Dietary modifications that need to be made as a result of the disability

  • Tube feeding formulas and schedules for patients who are unable to swallow

  • Patient and family education on nutrition topics related to diseases (for example, diabetes)

Registered dietitians may practice in a variety of settings, including the following:

  • Hospitals

  • Inpatient rehabilitation centers

  • Home health settings

  • Private practice

  • School districts

  • Community or government nutrition programs

Registered dietitians hold an undergraduate degree, have completed an approved internship program, and have passed a national exam to be credentialed as Registered Dietitians. Many have also earned a master's degree in dietetics or nutrition science.

Online Medical Reviewer: Averett, Jennifer, RD
Last Review Date: 2/16/2013
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