Nutrition Assessment

Nutrition Assessment

Pamela Charney

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It has long been known that nutritional deficiencies are associated with morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. Registered dietitians (RDs) are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition in all practice settings. Accurate diagnosis of malnutrition depends on the skills of RDs in completing the nutrition assessment combined with critical thinking skills.
There are five components of the nutrition assessment; they are as follows:

• Nutrition-focused physical exam

• Client history

• Food and nutrition history

• Anthropometric measures

• Biochemical measures, procedures, and tests

RDs must consider each component in order to accurately diagnose nutrition problems. The Nutrition Care Process (NCP) provides RDs with a solid framework that describes the critical thinking process that RDs use in all practice settings. The four steps of the NCP include nutrition assessment, nutrition diagnosis, nutrition intervention, and nutrition monitoring/evaluation. While the NCP applies to all practice settings, the dietetics terminology gives RDs an agreed upon set of terms that describe the work of the clinical RD.

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Pamela Charney

Pamela Charney, PhD, RD, is a registered dietitian with over 20 years experience. She has a great deal of experience in all care settings, ranging from 30 bed critical access hospitals to 500 bed academic medical centers. She received her baccalaureate degree from the University of West Florida, completed a dietetic internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and is a US Army veteran.