What is a Registered Dietitian (RD)?

A dietitian works with individuals to enhance their health and aid in recovery from health conditions, illness and injury. If you use a dietitian, it’s important to ensure your dietitian is licensed and registered. Not all dietitians undergo the same training. Registered, licensed dietitians practice medical nutrition therapy.

All of the dietitians employed at Washington Health System are registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and are licensed dietitians in the State of Pennsylvania. Our dietitians can alter their patients’ nutrition based upon their medical conditions and individual needs. Dietitians are regulated healthcare professionals licensed to assess, diagnose and treat nutritional problems.

How Do I Know if I Need to See a Registered Dietitian?

Patients may see an RD for many reasons. Some people may want to improve their overall wellness, while others may want to decrease their risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Other people want information about sports nutrition, infant/toddler feeding, eating to fight obesity or getting older.

Some of the medical reasons to see an RD are as follows:

  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • diabetes: Click here (link to Diabetes Ed page) to schedule an appointment with a Certified Diabetes Educator.
  • high blood pressure
  • cancer
  • inflammatory bowel disease and other stomach/bowel disorders: Click Here to learn about our LEAP food sensitivity testing.
  • pregnancy
  • kidney disease
  • overweight/obesity: Click Here to learn more about our weight loss programs
  • how to fuel your body for pre- and post-workouts and game day optimal performance

A full list of outpatient nutrition services can be found here.

Inpatient Services

Good nutrition during your hospital stay is an important part of your treatment and recovery plan.  During your stay at The Washington Hospital, you will be screened for nutrition risk. If you are found to be nutritionally at risk, you will receive a comprehensive, nutrition-focused assessment by a Registered Dietitian.Please tell your nurse or doctor if you have:

  • lost weight without trying in the past three months or
  • been eating less than usual in the past week

The Registered Dietitian works with the physician, other members of the healthcare team, and you to provide medical nutrition therapy for a variety of conditions. This may include nutrition assessment, diet education and counseling, diet modification, nutritional supplementation or other forms of nutrition support.

In-patient Dining Services

  • To ensure you have an exceptional dining experience, our Dining Assistant will visit daily after breakfast to take your menu selections for the day’s lunch and dinner meals and the next day’s breakfast meal.
  • You may choose from a variety of freshly prepared menu items tailored to your specific health and dietary needs as well as your personal preferences.
  • The Dining Assistant will deliver your meal and check back during the mealtime to ensure you are completely satisfied.
  • Dining Services strives to nourish, heal and uplift your body and spirit through great food and sound nutrition.