To answer your question the answer is yes. Having a RD to refer to is always the best way of approaching dietary issues with your clients. The best way to figure out which one to chose from, is to do some research online and find those who match your philosophy and needs and then meet with them to see who you would like to work with. Check their credentials, work and education history as well as references (if available). This kind of relationship can work both ways. I hope this helps.
I agree with Harris. I found the RD I refer clients to through a search of local RDs I went onto their websites and chose 3 who I thought I would be compatible with, I then did a phone interview with the 3, and chose the one I felt most comfortable with. I have referred many of my clients to her and they have been very happy. I have gotten a few referrals from her in return.
Yes. As a fitness professional, you should be part of your client’s health team. As a team member you need to communicate with the other members of the team. While you may only comtact any one member of the team once or twice a year, it is still important to keep the lines of communication open. For every client you should have at least asked the client to request information fron involved team members such as primary care physician, surgeons, physical therapists, etc. The information should definitely include clearance to exercise, recommended activity level or intensity of exercise, medications (and you should check the effects of these medications on exercise response and daily life in general), contraindicated activity/exercise, and any other pertinent information depending on the client’s health status (ie. diabetic, brain injury, other cognitive impairment. substance abuse, etc., all have a wide variety of different exercise related responses and impacts on health/well being). You should know at least one local physician and one registered dietician who are willing to see referred clients. Networking with other health professionals will depend on the types of clients that you are working with at any one time. Hopefully this type of interaction with a broad spectrum of health professionals will encourage you to pursue educational opportunities to improve your skills and abilities so that the other team members will see you as a valuable part of the healthcare community and thus feel confident in referring clients to you as well.
echoing my colleagues, yes, you should have a registered dietitian to refer to. I liked Janet’s recommendation to interview a few and find one that aligns with your philosophy. I am always uneasy recommending people whose services I have not personally used. This means you will have to rely on your gut instinct when you talk to them.
Make that another yes! An RD is a great resource to have in your professional circle. Like others have said – check them out. Meet with them to make sure you’re on the same page. Besides providing your client another valuable service and resource, it can turn out can be a win-win relationship as far as referrals go. Good luck Noreen!