DTRs and Why They’re Important in Eating Disorder Treatment

by Courtney Addison, DTR (Tempe IOP) and Jessica Hailey, DTR (Capri PHP)

Bite-AppleWHAT IS A DTR?
No, we’re not talking about “Defining The Relationship”. Diet Technician, Registered, or DTR, is the national credential held by the dietary technicians (DT) within the Rosewood dietary team. Not only does the credential ensure our professionals have the education and training required by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to carry the credential, but it demonstrates the passion the individual possesses to practice within the nutrition field. As a group, DTs are not required to carry this credential in order to practice, in fact most practice without the credential. This credential is earned after the DT successfully completes a registration examination. Like the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential, DTRs maintain their registration by completing continuing education units. DTRs are an essential part of the dietary team with Rosewood and are often known as the “RD Sidekick”.

WHAT DO DTRs DO?
What role does a DTR play in a patient’s recovery? As a DTR, we get to be hands on in the community and become closely engaged with the patients. Eating with patients is a fun and easy way to build trust with patients, and also model what normal eating should look like. Many patients appreciate the extra support when the RD is not available. DTRs also get to be a part of experientials, such as the meal outings and going to the grocery store. DTR’s, as well as RD’s, provide support for the patients in these challenging situations. In addition, DTR’s have the responsibility of maintaining a safe and clean kitchen for the patients at the PHP and IOP level, as well as keep a variety of foods stocked. Having all nutrition related resources available is an essential part of recovery from an eating disorder, and the DTR is there to help. It takes a team of both RD’s and DTR’s to make recovery possible.