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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Explanation Exasperation!

Do your eyes bug out when you reach explanation exasperation? You wonder, "What were they thinking, or were they...?" Well, of course they were thinking, maybe even over-thinking! Perhaps this is something that bugs only a few of us. It's just that we like things kept succinct, simple and clear for every one's sake. 

This is  about good ideas.  It's about the word dietitian. At this point I could get serious or silly. Was it a good idea to select the term dietitian to label who we are? Over time I've learned the word is causing problems, especially after choosing a name for my blog in Blog 101 class. (Don't get me wrong. I loved this class; it was a learning highlight, and I'll always be grateful for everyone involved in that program!) "Downtown Dietitian" may have missed the boat in terms of a dual spelling problem. 

You see I learned to spell dietitian with a -tian and not a -cian at the end. But over time I've noticed that most folks spell it with a "c", and checking the dictionary you find both spellings are acceptable. I do not want to miss connections with folks who want to connect with me as much as I want to connect with them because of a "c" or a "t". I kind of like the ring of "Downtown Dietitian" since I live within a metropolitan area.

Then there's that constant question, "Exactly what is a dietitian?". The answer I was taught: a dietitian is a food and nutrition expert. One might think that this is also the definition of a nutritionist. A registered dietitian (RD) is a credential similar to registered nurse (RN). To hold this credential one must meet certain criteria in education and training. Everyone understands the connotation of registered nutritionist without much confusion. However, confusion would result with the designation of "RN" for registered nutritionist since the registered nurses already use it. Hence, the label dietitian or dietician came to be. But are folks unclear about this term and its designation?

Team%20of%20medical%20professionalsCan you identify the dietitian in this photo? I typed in "health care professionals" to find a picture of a dietitian. Within this group shot of a hospital team is a dietitian, let's say the one on the right in the labcoat. Dietitians usually wear labcoats in hospitals and sweats or warm-ups while working at the Army Physical Fitness School! One can't always identify a dietitian by the clothes.

"The American Dietetic Association" is no longer the name of the national professional organization for dietitians. It's been changed to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics. I'll take it! It's a big move in the right direction. What do you think dietitians should call themselves and how should their credential appear since "RN" is already taken? Help me cure my explanation exasperation in this matter. Nutritionist or Dietitian?

Cheers! with skim milk...,

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