Please click on any of the links below to find answers to some frequently asked questions.
If you have a question about Mandurah Nutrition and Dietetics please submit your question using the enquiry form on our Contact page.
Dietitian vs Nutritionist – is there a difference?
What is a Dietitian?
Many people are confused about the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist. Some people may use the terms interchangeably, but they actually mean different things. The key difference is that Dietitians have undertaken extra study at University to allow them to practice within a clinical setting, e.g. hospital, nursing home, medical nutrition therapy clinics.
This means that all Dietitians can also call themselves Nutritionists, but Nutritionists and other health professionals without dietetic qualifications cannot call themselves a Dietitian. Dietitians complete an additional 1 -2 years of postgraduate university study after completing an undergraduate nutrition degree.
What is a Nutritionist?
Anyone, with or without qualifications can call themselves a nutritionist. Nutritionists or other health professionals are not qualified to provide nutrition advice to people regarding their nutrition-related medical conditions. This includes both individual and group dietary intervention. Nutritionists may not possess the counselling skills needed to help people who are having difficulty changing their health behaviours. Unlike Dietitians, there’s no regulation over who can use the term nutritionist, or life coach, or nutrition expert. This means that nutritionists may have a university degree, a TAFE degree or certificate, or very often they have completed a short online course.
For further information about the official statement from the Dietitian Association of Australia about the difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist please click this link daa.asn.au
What does an Accredited Practising Dietitian do?
Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are university-qualified professionals that undertake ongoing training and education programs to ensure that they are the experts in nutrition, with the most up-to-date and credible source of nutrition information. They translate scientific health and nutrition information into practical advice, and practice in line with DAA Professional Standards, including the DAA Code of Professional Conduct and Statement of Ethical Practice.
Monica is an APD accredited Dietitian. Accredited Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals recognized by the Australian Government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Private Health Funds as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia.
As well as providing general healthy eating advice, Dietitians have extended skills to help people manage ongoing health and disease conditions by implementing a healthy eating plan and lifestyle. This is done through individual consultations where the Dietitian works one-on-one with the client.
Dietitians can also assist you with planning healthy meals & snacks for you and your family that are tailored to meet your specific needs and cultural-social beliefs.
Unlike “diets” or so call weight loss programs, a Dietitian doesn’t just tell someone what not to eat, or try to sell you supplements that have no proven scientific justification. The focus is on teaching you how to achieve long-term sustainable changes to unhealthy eating habits in order to archive your desired goals.
Are you going to put me on a weight-loss diet plan?
Here at Mandurah Nutrition and Dietetics, we focus on healthy behaviours, a positive relationship with food, and a flexible mindful approach to healthy eating. This means you will not be put on a weight-loss/fad diet plan. How many people reading this know that weight-loss/fad diet plans don’t work? If dieting worked for people we would not have the continuous diet cycle. On the diet, off the diet, 10 kilos weight gain. Sound familiar?
6 reasons a diet plan won’t work
Boredom with the diet plan
Inadequate cooking skills
Difficulty sticking with the diet whilst on holiday, or if unwell
Foods you may not like or cause an allergic reaction
Ingredients in the diet plan might be too expensive.
Family members or friends are unsupportive
We can assist you to lose weight and achieve your personal goals whilst still enjoying your favourite foods. We will also teach you the skills such as meal planning, smart shopping and how to cook healthy meals for you and your family. You are in charge of what advice you choose to act on and what changes you want to make. This is known as a client-centred approach. We encourage people to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
What if I still want a diet plan?
We do have clients who want a traditional “diet or meal plan” approach. We are happy to help you get started. We may prescribe a calorie-controlled diet plan. We make no promises or guarantees that the “diet or meal plan” approach will give you the results you are after and we encourage people to think about their long-term health, not just short-term weight loss. After a little while you may find you need a change from the diet or meal plan and this is where we can assist you to make healthy choices and provide you with recipe ideas to continue enjoying your food and still lose weight.
You need to lose weight quickly prior to your surgery?
We strongly advise you do this under supervision. Monica has worked in the bariatric area and with other clients prior to surgery for many years. Monica is an Optifast®VLCD Accredited Dietitian prescriber. She has gained further training in this area and will be able to ensure if this program is suitable for you and if so, guide you each step of the Optifast® VLCD program.
Can I get a Medicare rebate?
Yes you can if you have an EPC (Enhanced Care plan) from your GP (General Practitioner/ Doctor). Please bring your care plan along to your individual appointment.
Medicare rebates are also available for group services provided by an Accredited Dietitian for people with type 2 Diabetes.
If you unsure whether your health condition meets the requirements for the Medicare rebate with the EPC care plan, please make time to discuss matters with your GP and/or the practice nurse. Alternatively, phone the Department of Human Service’s Medicare line and speak to one of their staff about your health condition.
If you are eligible for a care plan you will be able to access your Dietitian consults at a very small Gap Fee cost. Care plans are bulk billed (for all concession card holders). You can access up to 5 visits each year at the GP’s discretion.
Can I use my Private Health Fund?
Privately billed patients with private health insurance may be eligible for a rebate depending on the level of cover. Those who have extras generally get a rebate of at least 50%. It is advisable to check this with your health fund before attending your appointment. There is access to Hi-caps facilities at the Falcon and Lakelands clinics. After providing your card you will only have to pay a small gap fee.
Do you need a referral to see the Dietitian?
No! You do not require a doctor’s referral at all. You can simply arrange an appointment at the front reception of your preferred clinic or by calling the clinic during office hours.
How long is the appointment?
Approximately 30 - 40 minutes for patients with an eligible care plan (EPC) for both initial and subsequent appointments. For patients requiring a private consultation, or those with more complex health conditions, extended consult times are available from 45mins to 60mins.
How flexible are appointment times?
Mandurah Nutrition and Dietetics can accommodate appointments before and after normal work hours. Sessions are available between 7am and 7pm in the Hall Head Clinic. Saturday appointments can also be arranged in virtual clinic space at no extra cost. When booking your appointment, please make sure that you read our cancellation policy.
Where are the clinic locations?
My main clinic is located in Mandurah / Hall Head Mandurah Nutrition and Dietetics also operates out of the following areas: click here for more information about the location.
Do you sell nutrition supplements?
Dietitians do not sell or promote diet products like pills, shakes, or nutrition supplements. The majority of the popular nutrition products available, especially weight loss products, are not backed by sound scientific evidence and so are not recommended by Dietitians.
Dietitian also understand that if someone is eating a healthy and balanced diet, and they don’t suffer with any health condition or post-surgery side effects with higher nutritional requirements, they don’t really need additional vitamins, minerals or other supplements. There may be times when someone is unable to meet their nutritional requirements through food alone and in these cases a Dietitian will recommend a suitable nutritional supplement to be taken in addition to regular food. These products are specially formulated for people with specific health conditions, or for a particular age group. These supplements should only be used under the supervision of a Dietitian or GP.
Do you work with children?
Monica has worked as a Paediatric Dietitian and has the qualifications to deal with health issues in this young age group. She has conducted several group sessions under the Better Health for Kids Program. Better Health for Kids is a well-established federal government health program for overweight children and their families. Monica also has extensive experience with the introduction of solids, “Fussy Eaters”, food allergies or intolerance, and young age eating disorders.
Monica is also a busy mum of two young children and she is able to understand and empathise in these delicate situations.
If you are unsure whether we will be able to assist your child, please contact us to discuss the matter further
In cases of extremely complex nutrition-related medical conditions, including food allergies, Monica is able to refer your child to specialised units within the health service.
Do you see patients under Department of Veterans Affairs / Motor Vehicle Accident and WA NDIS?
Gold card DVA patients, or relevant White Card holders can be seen with a current referral from a GP. There is no cost involved to the patient. Menu planning and home consultations can also be arranged and all treatments are fully funded by the DVA.
Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) weight issues or nutrition complications can also be arranged under the MVA scheme. There is no cost involved to the patient.
We also see patients under the WA National Disability NDIS scheme - home consultations are allocated under your agreed funding scheme.