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Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts. They evaluate a person’s health and nutritional needs and come up with plans to meet those needs. RDNs help healthcare providers by providing a patient treatment plan that may include the following:
Ideal body weight, calorie needs, and dietary needs
Foods that help ease swallowing
Dietary changes that need to be made due to a disability
Tube feeding formulas and schedules for people who can’t swallow
Patient and family education on nutrition topics linked to diseases, such as diabetes
RDNs may practice in different settings, including:
Inpatient rehabilitation centers
Home health settings
Community or government nutrition programs
RDNs hold an undergraduate degree, have completed an approved internship program, and have passed a national exam to be credentialed as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Many have also earned a master's degree in dietetics or nutrition science.
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