Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a common name people hear in the health profession, but do you know what they do for you? Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are experts in the area of food and nutrition who then relay this information to their patients to provide them with the knowledge and guidance to live a healthy life. The benefit of seeing a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is important for various reasons. One may see or be referred to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for questions concerning eating habits or patterns, the patient may be trying to lose weight and need some advice on going about it in a safe manner. A patient may be referred to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for many things such as Type1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, renal disease, cardiac nutrition, celiac disease, GI issues, nutrition support such as tube feedings, sports nutrition information, and an endless list of other topics. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are advocates in providing the patient with the knowledge and tools necessary to ensure they can make the changes to improve their health.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are knowledgeable in the area of food and nutrition due to the schooling and training they have received. In order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, there is a process one must follow. First, one must complete a bachelor’s degree from an ACEND-accredited program and receive a verification statement. Next, one needs to complete a dietetic internship program and receive ACEND-accredited supervised practice for one year. Once one completes this internship one must successfully pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam. Once the successful completion of this exam, one must obtain licensure to practice in a given state in which you will practice as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. The final step is continuing education in order to maintain registration, this allows for professional education to continue throughout your practice.
In order to practice as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist you must complete the above process. However, there are people who may call themselves “Nutritionists” but do they really have the ability to do this? There are many instances in which unlawful practice can occur throughout the country, but in order to be called a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist you must be licensed. In Ohio a law became effective on July 1, 1987, that anyone who practices dietetics must be licensed. If someone would be practicing without licensure which would be considered practicing illegally, an injunction can occur to that person. In Ohio, the practice of dietetics without having a license is considered a misdemeanor crime.
The process of becoming a licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is one that must be followed to practice legally. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are the ones who have the education and knowledge, and people need to seek them out in regards to questions and concerns about nutrition. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists went through the schooling and training to provide the best scientific knowledge and education to the public. The importance of seeking a
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns about your health and nutrition can make the difference in living a healthier life.