What is a Dietitian?
Dietitians are registered healthcare professionals, capable of assessing, diagnosing, and treating nutritional concerns. They are experts in human nutrition and the regulation of diet, and can help with chronic disease management, weight loss, digestive concerns, and more.
What is the difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?
Some professionals use the terms Dietitian and Nutritionist interchangeably. All Dietitians are Nutritionists but not all Nutritionists are Dietitians. The term ‘dietician’ is a protected term. A Dietitian is a registered health professional who meets specific standards and training requirement as set by the NZ Dietitians Board. A Dietitian is required to have both an undergraduate science degree in human nutrition along with a Masters in dietetics. Dietitians may work in many of the same settings as Nutritionists, such as public health and community nutrition, research and teaching, food industry and nutrition marketing and communications. However, Dietitians are also qualified to work in the medical nutrition industry.
Can registered Dietitians prescribe medication?
No. Registered Dietitians cannot prescribe medication you will need to speak to a general practitioner if this is what you’re looking for.
Can registered Dietitians order blood work and prescribe vitamins, minerals and food compounds?
Yes. They are the most qualified professional to do so due to their medical training. Most people have a cupboard full of supplements and vitamins that are expiring, you will never get a Dietitian overprescribing, they prescribe when there is a clear benefit to the client not a financial benefit of making the sale. Their registration ensures this.
What should I expect during my first consultation with a Dietitian?
Your Dietitian will first spend time understanding your specific situation, work with you to help clarify your goals and steps that you can take to meet these goals. Dietitians are skilled in assessing your needs based on your history, age, medical conditions, current lifestyle, and your skills and interest etc. He/she will take these into consideration when designing an individual plan that is tailored to your needs.
Your Dietitian will provide recommendations based on his/her expertise coming from continuous education & research, as well as knowledge developed from professional and personal experiences. He/she will guide and support you through the process of change to achieve your goals (change is hard work!), help you problem solve, keep you accountable and answer any questions along the way.
When should I Consult a Dietitian?
You can consult a Dietitian anytime you have a nutrition question, need a clear plan of action and/or want professional accountability to achieve your nutrition goals.
Some common topics people consult our Dietitians include:
Can I see the same Dietitian every time?
Yes. Our preference is to provide you a single point of care, someone who can work with you over time to create meaningful results. In most cases, with planning, we can cater to challenging schedules and keep you and your Dietitian unified as a team. If schedules cannot allow, or for any other reason you need to change Dietitians, we have a robust internal handover process to ensure smooth service without disruption.
I’m not based in New Zealand; can you still help?
Nutrition & Life Dietitians are licensed to provide Registered Dietitian services within New Zealand but if you live in the Australia or elsewhere, we can provide you with online nutrition education services that would not be considered medical nutrition therapy. Please contact us to share your needs and to find out more.
What is a virtual session with a Dietitian?
“Virtual sessions” include phone, email and video sessions; any session you can have instead of a session in-person. Nutrition & Life hold virtual sessions with a Dietitian via video conference, to maximize the experience.
What do I need to have a virtual session with a Dietitian?
To have a video session, you will need a computer or laptop with a camera, a tablet or a smart phone. You will also need a good internet connection. You can use data, but WIFI will give you a better call quality.
How will I know if I can hold my session virtually?
This option is always available. If you choose a video consult, we will provide you with a unique link to your Dietitian’s online waiting room. If you have booked in for a phone consult, it is important you are contactable on the number provided at that time.
Is it secure and private?
Your information will not be stored in the video consult platform or phone. Your Dietitian will take notes in the same system used during in-person consults. Only you and your Dietitian will see your appointment, so your sessions are private, and none of your information is stored.
Since virtual consults will take place from your own device and home environment, you also have a role to play in keeping yourself safe online.
How should I prepare for my video session with a Dietitian?
This is what you can do to make to make sure your virtual session works best for you:
Why might I prefer a Virtual session with a Dietitian?
In person/in clinic
Over the phone