What is a Dietitian?
Dietitians are registered health professionals who are experts in food and nutrition. Dietitians apply scientific knowledge to individuals and groups in different states of health and disease to improve overall health and wellbeing.
Dietitians must have an undergraduate degree majoring in human nutrition as well as a Postgraduate Diploma or Masters in Dietetics. To practise, dietitians must meet the standards of competency and ethics required by the NZ Dietitians Board under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.
Dietitians within Waitemata DHB are part of an interdisciplinary team and work with adults and children alongside their family/whanau/caregivers. They see people who require nutrition input related to medical and surgical treatments and management of chronic conditions.
What will the Dietitian do?
The dietitian will ensure a person and/or their family/whanau consents to their input.
In order to fully assess the person's nutritional needs the dietitian may gain information from the person, medical records, their family/whanau and other health professionals involved in their care.
The dietitian may make specific recommendations as part of the person's treatment plan and will work with the person to achieve their goals. Nutrition education may also be appropriate either once-off or on an ongoing basis,
Any further follow-up required will be discussed with the person and their family/whanau.
What Adult Services are Available?
The acute dietitians see people who require nutrition input while they are admitted to North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals, Mason Clinic, or CADS. There are a number of reasons a person may be referred to the dietitian including chronic wounds, unintentional weight loss, tube feeding, liver failure and gastrointestinal surgery.
Some people require ongoing monitoring and nutrition input either from the community or after they are discharged from hospital. One or more clinic appointments with the dietitian may be appropriate.
A variety of clinics are offered, including the following specialist areas: weight management, bariatric surgery (for weight loss), general surgery, gastro, diabetes and renal.
Clinics are available at North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals, and Hibiscus Coast Community Centre.
If a person requires ongoing monitoring and nutrition input and they are physically unable to attend an outpatient clinic, the community dietitian may visit the person in their own home. The community dietitians are based in North Shore, Waitakere, and Rodney districts.
If a person has kidney disease they may be referred to a renal dietitian who works as part of the Renal Team. The person will be seen in an outpatient clinic or on the haemodialysis unit at North Shore or Waitakere hospitals. We aim to link our clinic appointments with the renal doctors when able. People will also be followed up routinely on peritoneal dialysis.
Food can play an important role in keeping healthy when you have kidney disease. There is not one renal diet for everyone. The dietitian will assess the person's needs and provide them with specific information as required.
The diabetes dietitians will see some people with diabetes for specialised nutrition input in an outpatient setting. Clinics are based at North Shore and Waitakere Hospital sites, but once a month satellite clinics are also available at New Lynn, Te Atatu, Birkdale, Red Beach, and Wellsford.
What Paediatric Services (0-16 years old) are available?
Dietitians see some children at SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) at North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals, Rangatira Paediatric Unit at Waitakere Hospital and Wilson Centre.
Some children who require ongoing nutritional follow-up may see the dietitian in clinic at either North Shore or Waitakere Hospitals, if they are well enough to attend an appointment with a family member/caregiver.
Community dietitians are based at the Child Development Service (CDS). Please refer to the Waitemata DHB Dietitian Referral Guide 0-16 years.