Reading the article “Scope of Practice in Nutrition and Dietetics” by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics helped me to become more aware of the scope and of practice in nutrition and dietetics such as a registered dialectician’s scope of practice. Additionally, it helped me learn how a dietitian can be a leader and offer safe, culturally relevant and quality food service. The article also helped me to reflect on my personal knowledge which I have received at UD over the years. By reading the article, I also became aware of my weaknesses and how I can improve on them in the coming two years before my internship and the next big exam which will assess my knowledge and the various ways I can help my community with regard to both nutrition and health.
I understand that before looking at other clients, I am the first client with regard to nutrition and dietetics. I therefore reflect on the information I have gathered this far and how it has made me live a healthier life. For instance, I have seen the impact of cultural differences on human health status and the impact of behavior change on food choice. I have also learned that ecological variations have an impact on mineral and vitamin intake as well as on physical activity. Whereas some cultures embrace healthy eating, some are exposed to unhealthy lifestyles which affect their overall health. Since culture is inherent and hard to do away with, accompanying health conditions follow cultural practices that involve varied food choices. Ecological variations such as varying climatic conditions may also affect nutritional intake of food. High temperature conditions for instance may increase intake of beverages such as soda, water or juices. With this intake, the overall health of a person is also affected. Environmental factors also contribute to physical activity hence the overall health outcome of a person does not solely depend on diet. Access or lack of access to open space for exercise or walking isles in a neighborhood for instance, affects health outcomes of individuals.
Since I am yet to get my healthcare degree, I have had a couple of experiences as a volunteer. The reason for my volunteering is so as to know the areas of nutrition that I want to venture in and the population that I want to work with. I have discovered that I am interested in oncology, behavioral health, nutrition and diabetes. I would thus love to work with teams dealing with such. My interest with the listed areas came to be after seeing how nutrition affects such people’s health and how their status can improve with good nutrition. A population group I was less interested in working with was the aging or older population however. This is because I found it hard to make an older person than you to change something that they believe to be true. Additionally, it was hard for me to see this population which was mostly sickly. My attempts to make some of the elderly to stop eating a thing they liked even though it was not beneficial were also futile.
In a nutshell, by talking to doctors and nursing practitioners, I learned a few things that I need more knowledge on and what I need to learn. An RD I met for instance encouraged me not to limit myself to the things I learned in school. Only a limited fraction of what nutrition and dietetics entails is covered within the four years of school life. Therefore, I took her advice to heart and I spend my free time learning extra things from credible sources online. This will also be beneficial to me for my school work.
My greatest strength lies in the fact that I do not limit myself to the things I earned on UD. I took many courses that talk about obesity and science, food management, specific types of diet such as, Nordic diet. Also, because I believe that food is strongly related to the behavioral status, I started to take a minor class on psychology, which will make me more aware of the behavioral side as a part of the treatment. I will thus improve my critical skills by studying other published works and possibly write my reviews on them. On the other hand, my main weakness is that I do not have a real fully nutritional experience which I am sure will gain me a lot of skills that will help me in the future as a professional. In order to excel in a career of nutrition and dietetics, it is important for a person to have a wide range of skills and competencies. These skills are obtained primarily from formal education but mainly from work experience and extra training. I therefore need to be open to opportunities on nutrition such as seminars or exchange programs that will help me become more experienced. I also need to take keen interest on my internships so as to increase my knowledge on nutrition.
The main skill which I look forward to learn in this class is being able to do a health assessment in the most effective way by knowing the anthropometric, biochemical, clinical and dietary data. That is because, I believe that in order to have effective treatment, having the right assessment is important and this is received by screening the client. Additionally, knowing the right references which could help collect and understand the individual nutritional status is important. I should also be aware of the nutritional intervention which will guide me as a practitioner in order to figure out the recommended diet and exercise for the client based on the nutritional assessment. The code of ethics is also important so as to remain professional. In line with the code of ethics, a persons’ right to autonomy must be respected. This means that no person must be forced to do anything out of their will. Also, the ethical principles of beneficence and Nonmaleficence emphasize the need of doing only that which is beneficial to a patient and not causing harm to them. By adhering to these ethical norms, I will realize a successful career as a nutritionist and dietitian.
In conclusion, the scope of practice article gives tremendous insights on nutrition and dietetics which are essential to an aspiring professional. From the article, I have learned the scope of practice in nutrition and dietetics and how to be successful as a leader in offering safe and culturally relevant food services. Out of my personal evaluation also, I need to learn from other professionals and take in their advice so as to excel in this course. I also have to take seriously the course content and curriculum taught to us and put in effort in understanding them and their applications. I will also need to learn to work on my weaknesses while improving my strengths in order to excel in this course. Overall, applying this processes will ensure my success.
Academy Quality Management Committee, & Scope of Practice Subcommittee of Quality Management Committee. (2013). Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Scope of Practice in Nutrition and Dietetics. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 113(6 Suppl), S11.