Top 10 Competency Checks For Dietitians (By Work Setting!)

By Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC

We know dietitians do awesome things, but it’s always a good idea to check the competency of your clinician on a regular basis. Doing so can ensure adherence to facility policy and regulatory measures, identify any opportunities for coaching or improvement, or can be the inspiration for increased compensation. Here are the top 10 competency checks for dietitians, based on work setting.

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Acute Care

  1. Proficiently assesses patients with a variety of medical conditions, including high acuity care settings.
  2. Completes assessments in a timely manner, in accordance with facility standards.
  3. Communicates and collaborates with clinicians on the interdisciplinary team and foodservice team.
  4. Proficient in the Nutrition Care Process and writing PES statements.
  5. Calculates enteral and parenteral nutrition recommendations, according to facility policy.
  6. Proficiently completes a nutrition-focused physical exam.
  7. Familiar with malnutrition diagnostic criteria and documents suspected malnutrition clearly in nutrition assessment note.
  8. Understands and effectively communicates medical nutrition therapy recommendations for frequently-encountered diet education topics.
  9. Follows facility policy and standards regarding order-writing of diets, supplements, nutrition support, and/or vitamin and mineral supplements.
  10. Has thorough knowledge about therapeutic diets, including when each are appropriate to be ordered and what foods/beverages are permitted for each diet.

Long-Term Care

  1. Proficiently assesses patients with a variety of medical conditions.
  2. Completes assessments in a timely manner, in accordance with facility standards.
  3. Thorough knowledge of MDS 3.0 Section K. Submits accurate and timely documentation.
  4. Participates in care plan meetings and shares nutrition recommendations with members of the interdisciplinary team.
  5. Proficient in the Nutrition Care Process and writing PES statements.
  6. Calculates enteral and parenteral nutrition recommendations, according to facility policy.
  7. Proficiently completes a nutrition-focused physical exam.
  8. Familiar with malnutrition diagnostic criteria and documents suspected malnutrition clearly in nutrition assessment note.
  9. Follows facility policy and standards regarding order-writing of diets, supplements, nutrition support, and/or vitamin and mineral supplements.
  10. Has thorough knowledge about therapeutic diets, including when each are appropriate to be ordered and what foods/beverages are permitted for each diet.

Outpatient/Clinic

  1. Proficiently assesses patients with a variety of medical conditions and all age ranges served by the clinic.
  2. Completes assessments in a timely manner, in accordance with facility standards.
  3. Proficient in the Nutrition Care Process and writing PES statements.
  4. Effectively communicates nutrition recommendations with referring providers or other “need to know” clinicians.
  5. Calculates enteral and parenteral nutrition recommendations, as appropriate.
  6. Proficiently completes a nutrition-focused physical exam.
  7. Knowledgeable about insurance requirements and billing standards.
  8. Demonstrates and utilizes effective counseling techniques.
  9. Thorough understanding of frequently-encountered diet education topics.
  10. Maintains effective record-keeping, in compliance with all HIPAA standards.

Foodservice

  1. Has completed food safety training or certification (e.g., ServSafe or equivalent).
  2. Has thorough knowledge about therapeutic diets, including when each are appropriate to be ordered and what foods/beverages are permitted for each diet.
  3. Adheres to HACCP food safety principles, including maintaining appropriate temperature logs.
  4. Oversees and ensures appropriate sanitation standards.
  5. Maintains accurate nutrient analysis of patient menu, in accordance with facility, local, and federal standards.
  6. Ensures compliance with HIPAA standards with regard to menus, tray tickets, meal tray delivery programs, and all other foodservice operations.
  7. Maintains appropriate stock for patient menu, retail operation(s), and nourishments.
  8. Acts as a liaison with nursing staff to coordinate unit-specific nutrition needs.
  9. Trains foodservice staff with regard to components of therapeutic diets, including specific foods/beverages permitted or restricted for each diet order.
  10. Manages and updates diet office software program, as appropriate.

Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC worked as a traveling dietitian for Dietitians On Demand for two years before joining the team as the corporate dietitian. In this role, she has championed the continuing education program to empower dietitians everywhere to achieve their professional goals.

Dietitians On Demand is a nationwide staffing and recruiting company for registered dietitians, specializing in short-term, temporary and permanent-hire positions in acute care, long term care and food service positions. We’re dedicated to dietitians and helping them enhance their practice and excel in the workplace. Check out our job openingsrequest your coverage, or visit our store today!