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What is a NDTR or DTR?

By Tanya Humphrey, BS, NDTR, CLT

· Nutrition Blog

NDTR and DTR are the same credential. DTR stands for Dietitian Technician Registered. NDTR stands for Nutrition & Dietetic Technician, Registered. Not all individuals with the title “Dietetic technician” are credentialed as DTR’s or NDTR's. NDTR’s are healthcare practitioners that are credentialed by the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR). They have either an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Those who have the credential BS NDTR complete coursework in an ACEND®-accredited didactic program or coordinated program in dietetics and have completed a bachelor's degree at a U.S. regionally accredited college or university. After completing the degree and dietetics coursework, they must pass a national exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Plus, they must continue professional educational requirements to maintain their credential.

NDTR’s bring unique skills. The NDTR is responsible for provision of services to clients in a public health setting. This can be within the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. One with this credential within the WIC position will assess clients for eligibility, obtain and interpret blood tests, take anthropometric measurements, provide nutrition education and breastfeeding counseling, and performs other duties required. Competency in data entry is required as well as electronic documentation. Other responsibilities within the public health sector are general nutrition counseling, conducting nutrition screening and identifying nutrition risks, assisting in food and nutrition services during national emergencies, and promoting the quality of life through food and nutrition.

Nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered can work independently as in a private practice providing services consistent with appropriate skills or qualifications. Some are Certified Leap Therapists (if they have a bachelor of science in dietetics) which can help those with food intolerance and food sensitivities. A few are writers and educators in nutrition. They can also work as a team member under the supervision of registered dietitians in a variety of employment settings which can include business and industry, health care, community/public health, research and foodservice. A NDTR is important in the care of patients in the acute care setting. NDTR’s apply quality care under the supervision of the RDN. In this setting, NDTR’s provide nutrition education to patients. They possess the clinical knowledge to provide support to the RDN in nutrition intervention, monitoring, and evaluation. Other responsibilities in this position include technical support (when implementing plans for medical nutrition therapy), supervision of food preparation and delivery, creating menu plans for patients and clients, management of hospital formula rooms,assistance in creating patient or client education materials, and they promote healthy eating through counseling. They are considered the right hand of the RDN.

In long term care facilities, NDTR’s can be candidates for facility directors of food and nutrition services. Some responsibilities in this area may include nutrition assessment, intervention, and monitoring of patients. Other responsibilities can include tracking of minimum data set questionnaires, food service management, nutrition education, care area assessment (CAA), and menu and recipe management.