Patient education is not just "handing out a diet" or “giving them a sheet with dietary advice", it is helping patients to change their behavior so they can improve their health.
Patients are considered to be active subjects and not standard passive individuals. Dietitians must take into consideration the personal history of patients and give them a sense of responsibility to progressively achieve the objectives fixed.
Patients’ families should be able to participate. This dietary management must be an integral part of the global process of patient education.
All professional team members, including the dietitian, have access to the minimum necessary medical information. Information communication between professionals is organized and structured. All team members play a role in prevention and education.
The mission of a dietitian has several aspects :
- implementation of medical prescriptions,
- applying the principles of nutrition resulting from professional consensus,
- providing personalized dietary prescriptions to ambulatory and discharged patients,
- proposing a choice of foods,
- establishing food intake requirements,
- teaching the principles of a balanced diet, and also encouraging the adoption of appropriate eating patterns through their role as educators.