Critical Thinking Skills in Nutrition Assessment and Diagnosis Are Essential for Highest-Quality Care: New Practice Paper from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has published a practice paper for registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered designed to assist them in developing the critical thinking skills the Academy says are "essential" to ensuring the accuracy of their diagnosis of nutritional health problems in clients and patients and creating effective solutions. The practice paper is titled "Critical Thinking Skills in Nutrition Assessment and Diagnosis."
A practice paper is a critical analysis of current research literature that enables Academy members to translate nutrition science into the highest-quality advice and services. Practice papers are published on the Academy’s website for Academy members and are available to the public for purchase.
According to the Academy’s paper: "Nutrition assessment is an essential component of the Nutrition Care Process and Model, as it is the initial step in developing a comprehensive evaluation of the client's nutrition history. A comprehensive nutrition assessment requires the ability to observe, interpret, analyze and infer data to diagnose nutrition problems. This practice paper provides insight into the process by which critical thinking skills are utilized by both registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered."
The Academy provides numerous resources for its members on applying critical thinking skills, including the "Career Development Guide," which presents a progression of applying critical thinking skills as RDNs and DTRs gain knowledge and expertise in practice.
The Academy’s practice paper was written by registered dietitian nutritionists Pamela Charney, PhD, CHTS-CP, program chair, healthcare technology and management, Bellevue College and Sarah J. Peterson, MS, CNSC, clinical dietitian, Rush University Medical Center.
All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.