Academic Didactic and Supervised Practice Training

In the United States, preparation for the dietetic profession is a formal process. The Commission on Accreditation of Dietetics Education (CADE) has two career paths for persons who wish to be eligible to take the national Registration Examination. In the more common path, students complete a baccalaureate degree and then a supervised practice experience (internship). In the second path, students complete a coordinated undergraduate program (CUP), in which they work on the baccalaureate degree requirements and the supervised practice simultaneously. In either path, the student must complete academic (didactic) and supervised practice (internship) training.

Didactic training emphasizes theoretical knowledge and is generally achieved by completing a baccalaureate-level degree from a CADE-accredited program in a college or university. The supervised practice component is an internship. The student rotates through a series of preplanned learning experiences in community, clinical, food-service, and selected specialty practice diabetes: inability to regulate level of sugar in the blood long-term care facilities: hospitals or nursing homes in which patients remain for a long time for chronic care, rather than being treated and quickly discharged wellness: related to health promotion entrepreneur: founders of new businesses internship: training program

Registered dietitians (RDs) use their expertise in food and nutrition to prevent disease and improve health through diet. RDs work at hospitals, at research institutions, for governments, and for private companies. [© 1994 siu Biomed Comm. Custom Medical Stock Photo, Inc. Reproduced by permission.]

nutrient: dietary substance necessary for health health-promotion: related to advocacy for better health, preventive medicine, and other aspects of well-being settings. Upon successful completion of these two elements of learning, the individual becomes eligible to take the national Registration Exam. Related professions include culinary careers (e.g., chefs) and the food sciences.

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