State boundaries to discuss nutrition with clients
As a personal trainer in South Carolina I am looking for the state mandate or guidelines that lay out what I am allowed to discuss with my clients to stay within my scope of practice. I keep reading about it being different from state to state but not sure where I can find the guidelines. Any help will be appreciated!
Also, as an added bonus, I'm confident the RD will cross-promote your business and maybe even send some referrals your way in the future. Now that's a win-win situation!
Here are some simple guidelines I follow when talking with clients about nutrition:
-I avoid prescribing specific caloric intakes. (I.e. "x" kcals from carbs, "y" kcals from fat, and "z" kcals from protein)
-I avoid making statements that begin with "you can never..." or "you must always..." (with some minor exceptions of course)
-I do make general recommendations such as "try to eat a well-rounded breakfast"
-I do speak about the experiences I've had with food and nutrition and why I eat the way that I do
-I do speak about the experiences other clients have had with food and nutrition but I'm sure to leave their names out of the stories
Does all that make sense? Does any of it sound unreasonable to you? Does it sound like I'm breaching my scope of practice at all?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts if you've got a moment. Otherwise, best of luck to you finding the specific information you seek!
Some great answers given here to a previuos question similar to your question:
I think for liablility reasons one should be qualified/certified. However, common sense comes in to play and discussions about eating habits are certainly a must. Stay within your scope of practice...when in doubt, refer to a nutritionist or dietician.
Just stay in your scope of practice that you learned about through ACE:
general guidelines for the macronutrients and refer other sources when necessary. You will also build up a referral network that way.
Their website is www.aasdn.org
since you are an ACE Personal Trainer, you should just refer back to this manual which delineates the scope of practice very well.
I get questions on nutrition often and always answer them generically without making specific recommendations for the individual. As a rule, I absolutely do not recommend supplements but refer them to the doctor, pharmacist or an RD. That does not mean that I believe that there isn't a place for supplements but their possible interaction with medication can be significant.
I echo what others have said. Basically, do whatever you have been trained to do within your Scope of Practice (SOP). Ethically, and sometimes legally, this is all we can do. Certifying agencies often will have you sign or agree to a code of conduct or something along those lines with a SOP statement in it.
Some states have licensing requirements for certain professions. I'm not aware of any state that has mandated licensing for CPTs. However some do have licenses for RDs.
Bottom line, we need to respect our SOP. We should not attempt to perform the role of a RD. Just like a physician, although medical doctors, should not design or suggest exercise regimens because they are not qualified. There is no shame in referring, its about the best interest of the client.