Dietitians in 2020: it’s not just about nutrition
One thing 2020 has underscored is that there’s more to being a dietitian than nutrition science alone. As many clients wrestled with the effects of lockdown on their eating, and face to face consultations went on hold, dietitians learned to build a rapport with clients via phone and video. Some even found that consulting from home with Zoom was an unexpected asset. “You can be more authentic,” said Melbourne-based APD, Jo Money. “There are family photos in the background and I ’m in track pants and no makeup. Clients can feel relaxed and connect more. I’m still professional but I’m also human.”
Communicating in a way that promotes behaviour change is another essential skill and this is where dietitian and health coach Sharon Curtain provided key communication skills to help increase clients’ confidence in being able to change.
Creating an inclusive environment that makes all clients feel comfortable matters too: one barrier to equitable health care for trans and gender diverse people is the attitude of health care workers, says GP and advocate for transgender health, Dr Nate Reid. His presentation focussed on how dietitians can deliver respectful and equal care to LGBTQI clients.
Nutrition science also goes hand in hand with exercise science and this year we launched Education in Exercise. Given the impact of both food and movement on chronic disease prevention and management, many of us collaborate with exercise physiologists - so offering evidence-based presentations exercise from Accredited Exercise Physiologists and other exercise professionals was a logical next step for EIN. This year the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) underlined the value of this partnership with its position paper on cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia (muscle loss) - conditions that can compromise cancer survival. COSA now recommends that screening for these conditions should be standard practice when cancer is diagnosed - and that treatment should include the help of exercise physiologists and dietitians to optimise body composition.
If you work with any Exercise Physiologists you can benefit by joining as a group or including them in your current subscription group. Forward this email to any Exercise Physiologist and they can email Jo at firstname.lastname@example.org for a coupon code to receive complimentary Education in Exercise presentation.