Dietherapy Department plays a vital role in health promotion; it focuses on the prevention of diseases and promotion of health through healthy nutrition, and the nutritional management plans for individuals and groups with different types of diseases which ranges from special therapeutic diets to enteral and parenteral nutrition.
To maximize preventive and curative health care delivery through dietary management of related diseases.
The Dietherapy Department aims to provide quality services by:
- Delivering appropriate dietetic & nutrition intervention which is evidence based.
- Valuing and respecting individuals beliefs, wishes, abilities and culture.
- Enhancing patient care by providing nutrition education to all relevant staff.
- Endeavouring to empower patients to become involved in managing their diet.
- Fostering a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care.
The Dietherapy Department is made up of personnel with different disciplines or fields of expertise. They include:
Dieticians in this hospital are experts in food and nutrition. They interpret and communicate the science of nutrition to enable individuals make well informed and practical dietary choices in health and diseases.
In general, the dieticians work as part of a multidisciplinary team, caring for people in the hospital or in the community. They plan food and nutrition programs, supervise meal preparation, and oversee the serving of meals. They prevent and treat illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits and recommending dietary modifications. The dieticians also play an advocacy role by promoting good nutrition, counseling individuals with special dietary needs and educating other health professionals on nutrition.
Dieticians counseling their patients with special dietary needs
These are specially trained hospital caterers who provide therapeutic food service in the diet kitchen to patients on the wards based on instructions given by the dietician.
(a)Diet cooks reading meal requests from dieticians (b) Diet cook serving meals according to portion sizes
The biostatisticians at this department keep records of patients for future references, research work and other studies. Some of the records they keep include the patient's personal data, anthropometric measurements (weight, height, BMI, MUAC, etc.), laboratory results (BP, FBS, Urea creatinine, etc.).
As a pre-requisite for completing the Dietetic study program, graduated dietetic students undertake a supervised work-study program in a hospital facility as dietetic interns lasting for one year. The work of the dietetic interns includes practical work supervised by a licensed dietician with real patients and real ailments in a hospital setting. They also understudy dieticians and participate in promoting good nutrition, counseling individuals with special dietary needs and educating other health professionals on nutrition.
National Service Personnel
The Dietherapy Department receives postings of university graduates with relevant studies in the field of Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Science and Food Technology from the National Service Secretariat for training.
There are several services rendered by qualified and experienced dieticians in Korle Bu. Our services provided are patient-centred, evidence-based and it supports the multidisciplinary teamwork. The department in Korle Bu provides a wide range of services for patients within all age groups, in-patient and out-patient settings. Our services include:
Screening, assessment and reassessment: All in-patients who are nutritionally at risk are assessed by qualified clinical dieticians based on evaluation of various contributing factors to determine nutritional status, which includes medical and surgical history, diet history, anthropometric measurements, laboratory results, medications and cultural and personal preferences. Nutritional care plans and management are then placed accordingly.
Dieticians taking (a) weight and (b) height measurements of a patient
Education and counseling: Education is the main role of the clinical dietician using different kinds of educational tools and materials to help the patient with better understanding and compliance with their diet. Individual and Group Counseling on nutritional practices designed to prevent diseases and promote health is also done by the dietician.
Community outreach programs and activities: In addition, the Dieticians work in the community to increase the public awareness of nutrition and its role in preventing diseases and promoting health, this includes teaching classes, workshops, keep fit clubs, organizations and the general public through media (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.).
Monitoring progress: Dieticians monitor the progress of both in-patient and out-patients through follow-ups. As a result of the monitoring, dieticians are able to adjust the type or level of nutritional support, give amended dietary guidance or reinforce and set new goals for the patient.
In-patient Dietary Services: The department has a diet kitchen manned by diet cooks that caters for the feeding of in-patients. Our department plans and supervises the preparation of therapeutic foods such as liquid diets (e.g. F-75 and F-100); semi-solid and family foods or other diets for individuals or group in the hospital. We plan nutritionally adequate diet for the in-patient as recommended by the consultant. We ensure that appropriate diet planning is done consistent with patient"s clinical requirement and diets are available on a regular basis. We provide guidelines to be able to serve in-patients" diet from the diet kitchen to in-patients bed table. We serve prompt and accurate meals to patients upon admission, and render diet counseling/nutrition promotion prior to discharge. We prepare a comprehensive diet chart which will help to maintain nutritional requirement for a patient according to the diagnosis.
Out-patient service: Apart from the in-patient food service, the diet clinic of out-patient service helps in wider use of dietary counseling and serves to extend and clarify diet instructions and have follow-ups.
The Dietherapy Department provides the highest standards in training clinical dieticians and nutritionists. Undergraduate (BSc.) and postgraduate (MSc. and MPhil) students undergo clinical rotations and internship programs in the department. The department also renders training programs for doctors specializing in Family Medicine.
The Dietherapy Department is continuously working on expanding its services to support the hospital"s mission and vision, by promoting:
Growth: We are aiming to recruit qualified clinical dieticians in order to meet the hospital demand and to expand our out-patient services.
We are aiming as well to have on-going education, training and specialized programs for our clinical dieticians in order to achieve and maintain excellence in the provision of services.
Operational Efficiency: We strive for efficient and effective delivery of our services, through developing and practicing clear guidelines, processes and policies based on best practices and standard international guidelines e.g.; ADA, BDA, SADA, etc.
Specialized nutrition services: We are aiming to have specialized clinical dieticians to meet the hospital needs e.g., liver transplant dietician, oncology dietician, ICU dietician, renal dietician, metabolic dietician, total parenteral nutrition dietician etc.
Common conditions normally referred to the department
The dietician sees people with a variety of disease and conditions including:
- Malnutrition e.g. undernutrition (i.e. Underweight, FTT, PEM) and overnutrition (i.e. overweight and obesity)
- Dyslipidaemia e.g. high blood cholesterol
- Liver and biliary diseases e.g. Hepatitis, Cirrhosis
- Renal diseases e.g. CKD, ARF, Nephrotic Syndrome, Glomerulonephritis, ESRD
- Cardiovascular diseases e.g. Cardiovascular Accident, Stroke, Atherosclerosis
- Cancer e.g. Head and neck cancer
- Diabetes Mellitus (Type I & II)/ GDM/IGT
- Eating disorders e.g. Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia
- HIV disease and AIDS
- Diagnosed Food allergy / Intolerance
- Malabsorption states
- Burn injury and Wound healing
- Swallowing difficulties (Dysphagia)
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Sickle cell disease and Anemia
- GIT disorders e.g. IBD (Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis), Gastritis/Peptic & Gastric ulcers, Celiac disease, Constipation/Diarrhea, Esophagitis/Hiatal hernia/GERD
Access to services provided by the Dietherapy Department
In view of the fact that Dieticians work as part of the multidisciplinary team, a written and signed referral from a member of the consultant's team or from any doctor is required before a Dietetic consultation can commence.Dietetic out patients consultation starts from Monday to Friday at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The dietician occasionally may not be able to see you on the same day as scheduled as he may have another out-patient appointment elsewhere. If this is not possible an alternative out-patient appointment will be arranged for you to see the Dietician. There is also walk-in consultation for patients who are overweight or obese.