A diet technician, registered (DTR) is a healthcare worker primarily concerned with the nutrition and diet of patients or clients. A DTR typically works under the supervision of a registered dietary nutritionist (RDN), and he or she helps to implement and execute the RDN’s strategies with patients in a clinical or hospital environment. In addition to managing what are often very specialized, nutritional needs of patients undergoing medical care, a DTR can also help institutions like schools or corporations provide healthier eating choices.
For a DTR working in a medical setting (like a hospital or clinic), a major aspect of the day to day work is providing screenings and measurements of patients. This can include not only gauging weight, but also measuring body mass, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. The DTR then works with the registered nutritionist and any specific medical instructions to implement in obtaining a healthy diet and facilitating a patient’s recovery. The DTR helps to design the food offerings and closely monitors how much food the patient eats.
To work as a diet technician, registered, a person must typically earn an associate's degree in that field from a community college or healthcare vocational training center. The DTR will also need to pass any required certification testing and keep these registrations up-to-date. A DTR typically works in a clinic or kitchen environment during regular daytime hours of the week.
Diet Technician Registered (DTR) Tasks
Observe patient food intake and report progress and dietary problems to dietician.
Plan menus and diets, guide patients and families in food selection, preparation and menu planning based upon nutritional needs and established guidelines.
Obtain and evaluate dietary histories of individuals to plan nutritional programs.