There are two types of dietetic professionals, Dietetic Technicians (DTRs) and Registered Dietitians (RDs).
The difference between the two?
Well, the main difference is the scope of practice associated with the credential.
What is a Dietetic Technician (DTR)
A Dietetic Technician is an individual who has completed an ACEND accredited bachelors degree in dietetics. They also have successfully passed the DTR exam.
Or, is an individual who has completed an ACEND accredited associated degree with a coordinated internship of 450+ hours of supervised practice and has also successfully passed the DTR exam.
I followed the second route, studying nutrition in college while also getting hands-on experience working in the field.
Dietetic Technicians are nutrition and dietetic professionals who generally fall below registered dietitians.
What Dietetic Technician Class Work Looks Like
◊ Culinary Cooking Classes
◊ Menu Development and Management Classes
◊ Restaraunt Management Certifications
◊ A lot of Cooking Demos & Labs
◊ General Nutrition
◊ Food Principles/Science
◊ Medical Nutrition Therapy
◊ Anatomy & Physiology + Medical Terminology
◊ Helping Skills (Listening/Counseling Techniques)
Plus of course, General Education Credits. It’s no walk in the park.
What MY Dietetic Technician Practicum Looked Like
For your reference, my practicum was essentially an internship with a variety of places around the city..
◊ Assisting with School Food Service
◊ Inspecting Kitchens for Food Safety
◊ Inventory Management
◊ Menu Marketing Strategies
◊ MDS – Section K
◊ Diet History Collection
◊ Dining Room Satisfaction
◊ Nutrition Education and Group Presentation
◊ Case Studies / Follow-ups with Patients over 3 months
◊ Gathering Anthropometric Data (Height, Weight, etc.)
◊ Assessing for Nutrition risk and Writing Chart Notes in Hospital Setting
◊ Case Studies involving Specific Disease States & Real Patients
◊ Diet and Drug Interaction Education
DTR Scope of Practice under Licensed RD
A dietetic technician registered must be under a license of another dietitian to practice (at least in the state of Ohio). Meaning we can’t hold our own license to practice.
However, despite this, our scope of practice once under a dietitian’s license is whatever that dietitian deems us competent to do.
Meaning a dietetic technician can do whatever a dietitian can do as long as we are deemed competent by the dietitian who carries us under their license.
Individual DTR Scope of Practice
While we can be under someone’s license and practice, we also have our own individual scope of practice.
As an entrepreneur at heart, I have put together a hand out for all you dietetic technicians (or students considering to follow a dietetic technician route).
Meaning, the opportunities are endless if you set yourself up in the right way!
Please refer to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics scope of practice documentation to ensure you aren’t violating your scope! I am not liable for any scope of practice violations in reference to this page.
For more information check out eatrightpro.org. This website goes into detail on the process of becoming a dietetic professional.
PLEASE NOTE: a DTR (Dietetic Technician Registered) and an NDTR (Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered) are the same thing!