Exactly 134 years ago, Argentinean physician Dr. Pedro Escudero was born (1877-1963). He is the founder of the nutrition profession in Latin America and in order to evocate his contribution, every August 11th (the day he was born) the Nutritionist’s Day is celebrated in most Latin-American countries. He made the first move in nutrition and dietetics in the region!
Escudero visited diverse institutions in the United States of America and in Europe (especially those dedicated to the study and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases) and selected from them what suited the needs of the Argentineans. After fighting arduously to surmount the indifference and opposition, he founded the National Institute of Nutrition in 1928 and the School of Dietetics in Buenos Aires in 1933, the first in Latin America. Then, in 1938 it was upgraded to the National School of Dietetics and gave scholarships for each country of the region, in such a way that the first dietitians of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, had graduated in the Argentinean school. Afterward, each country created its own school according with their individual needs.
In Argentina, the term dietitian (“dietista”). The health professional expert in food and nutrition comparable to the RD is the Licentiate in Nutrition (“Licenciado en Nutrición”). In Latin America, “nutritionist” is considered a broader term that accurately covers the wide scope of practice: clinical nutrition, food service management, community nutrition, education and research.
So, today is a special day to remember Dr. Escudero and to reflect about our past, present and future to make the most of the upcoming opportunities. Very proud of being Licenciada en Nutrición, ¡Feliz día del Nutricionista!
Source: BARRITTA DE DEFRANCHI, Romina L y NELSON, Jennifer K. Evolución y tendencias del profesional nutricionista en los Estados Unidos de America y en Argentina: Norte y Sur unidos por desafíos similares. ALAN, jun. 2009, vol.59, no.2, p.113-119. ISSN 0004-0622.
Recently a comentary published on the Journal of the American Dietetic Association adressed the issue of transitional care and opportunities for dietitians. Transitional care is a very popular term nowadays and -according to the American Geriatrics Society- transitional care is defined “as a set of actions designed to ensure the coordination and continuity of health care as patients transfer between different locations or different levels of care within the same location. Representative locations include (but are not limited to) hospitals, sub-acute and post-acute nursing facilities, the patient's home, primary and specialty care offices, and long-term care facilities.”
Most places have physician-led programs to coordinate transitional care. Nurses or social workers also have a role. But…what about dietitians? Is nutrition in the transitional care not that important?
Dietitians, the nutrition experts, have a role (and opportunity) here to be an active participant of the discharging-planning process. What I want to highlight from this article is the importance of the systematic screening that should be done at discharge. Yes, nutrition screening not only done at admission but also at discharge. Especially older adults may have lots of barriers to eat well at discharge. Who is going to prepare meals? Can he or she eat alone or assistance is needed? Does the patient understand the role of nutrition in recovery? Nutrition screening at discharge is a new concept that can improve recovery, provide timely nutrition services and prevent complications and readmission. This, will ultimately save money with little effort.
This is one way to show how nutrition is an essential part of health promotion and disease prevention with a potential health care cost reduction. Don't you think?
Global dietitians is a fun place to share and network between for food and nutrition professionals from around the world. Made for dietitians by dietitians.