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The Profession of Dietetics

Dietetics - The science or art of applying the principles of food and nutrition to health.

Within the field of dietetics, one can choose to be either a Registered Dietitian (RD) or a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR).

A Dietetic Technician, Registered is a food and nutrition practitioner who works independently or as a team member under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian. Employment opportunities include healthcare, WIC and public health programs, weight management and community wellness, food management companies, schools, day-care centers, correctional facilities and restaurants. To earn the credential of DTR, individuals must complete a dietetic technician program which includes 450 hours of supervised practice experience. This program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and result in an associate's degree at a U.S. regionally accredited college or university. The program graduate must pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to earn the credentials DTR. Continuing professional education hours are required to maintain registration.

A Registered Dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who works in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy) in health care facilities, community and public health settings, sports nutrition and corporate wellness, food and nutrition-related business and industry, private practice, academia and research. To earn the credential of RD, individuals must complete a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college, required coursework accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as well as an accredited supervised practice program (internship or cooperative experience). The graduate must pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to earn the credentials RD. Continuing professional education hours are required to maintain registration.

An RD engaged in the practice of dietetics in the state of Ohio, must apply for licensure with the Ohio Board of Dietetics. Under his/her license, the RD is responsible for assuring that dietetic technicians (both registered and non-registered) and nutrition associates (bachelor/master degree graduates who have not completed an accredited supervised practice) are qualified and competent to perform the nutrition tasks assigned to them.

For additional information about the profession of dietetics, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at www.eatright.org.





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