Clinical nutrition is the practice of analyzing whether a person is consuming an adequate amount of nutrients for good health. A clinical nutritionist is concerned about how the body processes, stores, and discards nutrients from food, along with how what you eat affects your overall well-being. Professionals in this field assess your nutritional needs based on your medical and family history, lifestyle, and laboratory tests to make recommendations about your diet and your individual nutritional needs. A clinical nutritionist can advise you on dietary changes that can help prevent diseases.
Clinical dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy to patients in institutions such as hospitals and nursing care facilities. Assess patients' nutritional needs, develop and implement nutrition programs, and evaluate and report results. Consult with doctors and other health professionals to coordinate medical and dietary needs. Some clinical dietitians specialize in treating overweight and critically ill patients, such as those with kidney (kidney) disease and diabetes.
In addition, clinical dietitians in nursing facilities, small hospitals, or correctional facilities can manage the food service department. The primary function of a clinical dietitian is to design nutrition programs to improve or maintain patients' health. These programs may be short-term, for example, to ensure that adequate nutrition is given to the victim of an accident until complete healing has occurred. Or they may be long-term for patients with diabetes, kidney disease, or diseases of old age that affect proper nutrition.
Programs designed can be preventive, for heart disease or obesity, or therapeutic to help a patient with heart disease maintain a baseline health and nutrition status. Clinical dietitians in hospitals, long-term care facilities, inpatient and outpatient clinics, and private practices often work with people suffering from eating disorders, substance abuse, or medical conditions with symptoms that can be improved or controlled with diet or meal planning more specific. A full-time student pursuing a master's degree in clinical nutrition can generally complete a program in 18 months. For example, because nutritionists do not necessarily have a certification, license, or clinical experience, they may not be allowed to provide specific nutritional counseling or diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Part-time students pursuing a master's degree in clinical nutrition generally graduate in three to five years. You will benefit from mentoring connections and networks with faculty members who are nutrition professionals with years of clinical experience, who are actively involved in professional organizations, and are authors of cutting-edge research. There are states that require nutritionists to have a license before they can provide nutritional advice, and others require a professional to be a DR to legally provide nutritional advice. Clinical nutrition involves studying what nutrients are needed for the body to function and how what you eat affects your health.
Meanwhile, certified clinical nutrition specialists and dietitians earn degrees, conduct internships, and obtain licenses that ensure they have the training needed to make use of the most credible, evidence-based research. In addition, they must complete a 56-hour online clinical nutrition training program offered through the board. You can also open your own clinic and provide nutrition advice and analysis to patients of any age and health status. Many people complete a degree in clinical nutrition, dietetics, or public health nutrition that includes a DPD.
Together, they will study a variety of core topics in clinical nutrition and chosen electives, from nutritional oncology to pharmacology and exercise physiology. .