Registered dietitians, or nutritionists, assess and provide for the nutritional needs of the patient with a disability. They assist the physician 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 (i.e., diabetes)
Registered dietitians may practice in a variety of settings, including the following:
- inpatient rehabilitation centers
- home health settings
- private practice
Registered dietitians hold an undergraduate degree, and many have earned a Master's degree in dietetics or nutrition science, and may be certified by the American Dietetic Association.
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