What is the difference between a dietitian and nutritionist?
There is currently no government regulation on who can call themselves a nutritionist in Australia. A nutritionist may be a qualified nutrition scientist or may not have any formal qualifications in human nutrition at all. Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are members of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and can also call themselves Accredited Nutritionists. APDs are highly qualified to provide nutrition advice. In Australia, APDs must abide to a code of conduct and ethics and commit to ongoing professional continuing education to ensure they remain up to date with the most current nutrition advice.
Dietitians are university qualified and must complete a university degree in human nutrition and dietetics as well as clinical training in order to provide dietary advice for people who have various medical conditions such as diabetes as well as ‘healthy’ individuals who are seeking expert nutrition advice for general health and wellbeing, sports nutrition or vegetarian/vegan eating.
All Dietitians are nutritionists but not all nutritionists are dietitians. Some dietitians choose to call themselves nutritionists. Therefore it is important to ask if your practitioner is an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Do I need a referral from my doctor to see the dietitian?
A referral is not needed to see our dietitians. However, if you have a chronic medical condition and your doctor believes you fulfill the criteria to participate in the Medicare EPC Program, you may be referred for up to 5 visits per calendar year on this program to an allied health practitioner. You will receive a Medicare rebate of $52.95 for each visit (note from time to time the rebate changes) . Only your GP can refer you through the EPC Program and it is therefore best to discuss your eligibility with your doctor.
I don’t have any medical problems. Would I still benefit from seeing a dietitian to learn more about eating well?
The dietitian’s at Eatsense are passionate about wellness and preventative health. Dietitians see plenty of people who are well and not just those with medical conditions. We can teach you about how to eat best for your body, meal planning, healthy shopping guides, deciphering food labels and various ways in which you can improve your overall well-being and avoid disease.
What type of clients visit the dietitians at Eatsense?
At Eatsense we see a variety of people with a variety of concerns and goals. We see children, teenagers, adults and the elderly, health professionals, tradies, retirees, athletes and student’s.
What should I bring to my appointment?
- Doctor’s referral and/or EPC plan if this has been billed. A referral is not necessary and we see plenty of private patients
- Recent blood test reports printed
- Any relevant medical reports e.g. report from your gastroenterologist or endocrinologist
- Blood sugar monitor or record of blood sugars if you have diabetes
- List of current medications and supplements, as well as brand names and doses
- DEXA body composition scan if this has been completed
- Written food diary with a usual day’s worth of eating
- A friend, partner or family member if you would like some support
Is a dietitian going to suggest I make a lot of changes all at once?
Many dietitians differ in their approach. At Eatsense, our dietitians are guided by YOU. That means we will work on changes that are a priority to you and at a pace that suits you. We understand that change is hard and typically we work with you to make a series of small changes over a period of time. It is important to communicate with your dietitian if you are having trouble making a change as we can offer support, guidance and education to make the healthier choice the easier choice.
Is a dietitian going to put me on a 'diet'?
No, our dietitians are not going to put you on a restrictive diet or rigid meal plan because simply put, they don’t work long-term. Our dietitian’s will make some suggestions based on your individual goals and also what works with your current lifestyle, level of motivation and likes and dislikes.
How often will I need to see the dietitian for a review after my first visit?
Review consultations are recommended for ALL clients . Success is the sum of a series of small efforts repeated and therefore it is essential to check in with your dietitian to monitor your progress towards your goals, redefine future goals, and explore any barriers towards change. Client’s often present with numerous health concerns and priorities. Review consultations allow you to modify your nutrition plan as your priorities shift. Our dietitians not only provide information but offer motivation and support to assist you in overcoming any barriers. We understand that change can be challenging and aim to support you in any way possible. The frequency of your sessions will depend on your needs. Initially our clients will come fortnightly while they make the initial changes and this is usually extended to monthly. If you have a chronic health condition you would benefit from a review every six months.
How many appointments will I generally need with a dietitian?
There are no standard rules when it comes to our client’s and the frequency and number of your follow up’s is highly dependent on your existing health status, motivation level, existing health behaviours and dietary intake, current knowledge, goals and barriers towards change. If you have a chronic condition such as high cholesterol or prediabetes, we would wish to review you every three months to help keep you on track. If you have multiple medical conditions such prediabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and weight concerns and have not yet made any changes, we may need to see you monthly for six months. Every person is unique in terms of how many sessions are needed.
Should I cancel my appointment if I haven’t made any changes between sessions?
Some people feel like it is redundant following up with the dietitian if they have struggled to make any progress or changes between appointments. It is important to remember that our dietitians are compassionate and understand that change is hard. We would argue that it is even more important to check in if you have felt like it has been difficult to make any progress. Part of our role as dietitians is helping support you, strengthening your motivation and providing you with practical strategies to make successful changes more likely. Every challenge, stumble or hiccup is simply a learning curve not a failure. You are never going to let us down.
Do you offer home visits?
If you are unable to visit us in the clinic because you cannot travel or you may be unwell, elderly or have difficulty walking we are able to visit you at home. Please note there is an additional fee to cover travel. For more information on fees click here.
What if I need to reschedule or cancel my appointment?
If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please contact us at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment to avoid paying a cancellation fee. This allows us to offer the appointment to patients on the waiting list. If you fail to give 24hrs notice a late fee of $50.00 will be charged. It is important that you arrive to your consultation on time. If it is your first visit, we ask that you arrive a at least 10 minutes early to complete any final paperwork.
We will confirm your appointment the day prior by phone or SMS, however, if we are unable to contact you it is your responsibility to remember your appointment.
Can I claim my visits through private health insurance?
Most major health funds offer private health fund rebates for diet and nutrition consultations depending on your level of cover. Please check with your health fund to confirm your level of cover and what specific rebate is offered. HICAPS is available at all of our practice locations so if you are eligible for the rebate you can easily process your health fund claim on-the-spot and you only need to pay the gap. Please remember to bring your health care card with you to your appointment.
How can I pay for my appointment?
We accept payments made by cash, eftpos, Mastercard or Visa. For online nutrition assessments and seminars we can also provide you with direct deposit details for our bank account. Please contact us on 43239200 if you require additional information.
Do your dietitians only help with weight loss?
Our dietitians are trained to provide nutrition advice for a range of people for a range of concerns including
- Insulin resistance, Gestational Diabetes, Prediabetes, Type I diabetes, Type II diabetes
- Vegan and vegetarian nutrition
- Sports Nutrition
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Coeliac Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Heart Health- Heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure
- Fussy eating
- Childhood Nutrition
- Maternal Nutrition
- Liver disease
For more information on a list of our services and what we can help with click here.