In 2020 “Telehealth” was a major buzzword in the medical community. This remote method of treating patients was around before COVID19 but it was primarily utilized only in extreme cases with patients who could not leave their home. Now, for a variety of disciplines, Telehealth is a main source of communication and care between providers and patients.
Gone are the days of sterilized waiting rooms filled with mediocre coffee, women’s health magazines, and horrible day time tv. Now we have the leisure of setting up and attending appointments from our own home. Utilizing this new technology may be challenging for some, but the benefits are overwhelming and can increase accessibility of disciplines that otherwise seem too daunting.
A perfect example of this is meeting with a registered dietitian (RD). Scheduling an appointment with an RD is a difficult choice for many to make. Discussing your eating habits can feel like a personal invasion of privacy or an attack on your belief system. And then to have to do this, in person?
As dietitians, we understand. There are always multiple layers when discussing food and our eating habits. That’s why we’re excited to see the world of Telenutrition blossom over this past year. Now we can reach a wider client base in their home; a space where they feel comfortable and with accessibility that allows for easy follow up, leading to lasting changes.
Let’s get the basics surrounding this exciting and convenient form of care.
So, what exactly is Telenutrition?
Telenutrition is when a registered dietitian (RD) provides medical nutrition therapy to patients via online platforms such as Zoom, Google Meets, or Skype.
What does a RD do during these visits?
A RD helps individuals reach various nutrition related goals. Some common examples are weight management, assistance with meal planning, and improving nutrition related lab values (ie: triglycerides, blood glucose levels, cholesterol). What a dietitian does exactly varies greatly depending on the individual, their personality, and their goals. While some patients may require a detailed meal plan with recipes, others may do better with individually designed goal setting.
What to expect with a Telenutrition visit?
Your first appointment with a registered dietitian is generally set for 60 minutes. During this time, the RD will ask the patient a series of questions related to your medical history, lifestyle, eating habits, and goals. This creates the foundation for the rest of the visit and further follow up visits to come. Once certain goals are identified, the dietitian helps the patient come up with strategies to start making positive changes. Follow up visits are typically only 30 minutes and used to touch base on how things are going and what needs troubleshooting.
Why opt for Telenutrition instead of just visiting with your Personal Care Provider (PCP)?
Visiting and following up with a primary care provider is an important part of everyone's health care plan. However, if there is a specific nutrition related concern that you have, it’s best to seek out the experts. RD's are up to date on the most recent nutrition literature and recommendations and many have specializations in certain areas so you can get a more in-depth, individualized care for your nutrition concerns.
Reaching your nutrition goals from the help of your personalized registered dietitian has never been easier than now. We’re excited to accompany you on your journey!