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What is a Dietitian?
A dietitian is an expert in nutrition. Dietitians provide treatment, education and support to people requiring nutrition information and advice relating to medical and surgical treatments and management of chronic diseases (such as diabetes and high blood pressure). A dietitian applies scientific knowledge about food and nutrition to individuals and groups to promote optimal health outcomes.
Dietitians must be registered to practice under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003 and abide by a code of ethics.
The educational prerequisite for registration is a two-year Masters Degree, with entry restricted to those who have successfully completed a relevant science degree majoring in Human Nutrition.
What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
Dietitian – The term dietitian is a protected term. A dietitian is a registered health professional who meets standards required by the Dietitians Board and has both an undergraduate science degree in human nutrition and a post-graduate qualification in dietetics. To practise in New Zealand, a dietitian must, by law, be registered with the Dietitians Board and hold a current practising certificate. The Dietitians Board protects the health and safety of the New Zealand public under the Health Practitioners Competency Act (HPCA) 2003, by ensuring that every dietitian working in New Zealand is fit to practice and meets standards of professionalism. In New Zealand dietitians are the only nutrition health profession to be regulated by law. Dietitians work in a variety of settings from hospitals, the community, public health, food service, sports, education, research, media and the food industry. The Dietitians Board regulates the dietetic profession and only those on the Register can call themselves a dietitian and practise as a dietitian. For more information about how to practice legally as a dietitian in New Zealand visit their website: http://www.dietitiansboard.org.nz/
Nutritionist – The term nutritionist is not a protected term, there is no specific qualification or statutory legislation that regulates that profession and therefore the title can be used freely by anyone. This could range from someone with a PHD in a specialty area of nutrition to someone with no formal training. The Nutrition Society has a programme for registration of nutritionists where set criteria must be met to achieve registration status.
Nutrition and Dietetics Services Provided by Counties Manukau Health
What to expect?
As an inpatient at Middlemore Hospital or Manukau Surgery Centre you may be seen by a dietitian. Your medical team or nurse will refer you to a dietitian if they feel you will benefit from a dietitian’s specialised input. A dietitian would assess and recommend a nutritional treatment to meet your needs. This would also include education for you while on the ward and at home.
The dietitians provide services to:
Outpatients - Manukau SuperClinic™
The dietitians at Manukau SuperClinic™ assess and treat clients with nutrition related disorders.
Dietitians provide nutritional support to clients, their family, whanau and caregivers by:
What to expect?
Your doctor or medical team may refer you to a dietitian. You may be offered a group education session or a clinic appointment, depending on your medical condition. You are encouraged to invite carers, family or whanau to your group session or clinic appointment with the dietitian. Interpreters are available; please let us know if you require an interpreter.
What Will The Dietitian Do?
What Do You Need to Do?
Work together with the dietitian by: