This episode features Trina Higgins, a Registered Dietitian from the Northern California Center for Well-Being. A Registered Dietitian, or RD, is someone who is licensed to counsel patients on their dietary habits. To become a dietitian, one must obtain a four year degree with many specific dietetic course requirements, complete a dietetic internship, and pass a rigorous exam. More information on requirements can be found here. By 2024 it will be required that one earn a Master’s Degree to be eligible to take the exam. In other words, there’s a lot of nutrition knowledge and expertise behind the title.
While some health centers have an RD on staff, many do not. Those that do are often limited in how many patients that RD can fit into their schedule. We’ll save the issues around reimbursements for dietitians for another episode.
Trina joined us to talk about nutrition counseling techniques for health care providers. This topic was requested by Aliados Health member health center providers. In general providers don’t receive much nutrition education and training in school, so we agree that some basic nutrition counseling techniques could help.
Resources from Trina:
- The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s public-access website includes evidence-based nutrition information for providers who’d like basic nutrition education for themselves. The site includes information that applies to the general population, including their “Healthy Eating Plate” and other guidelines.
- American Association of Diabetes Educators and NovoNordisk Cornerstones4Care are resources geared toward diabetes management.