The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), along with the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), is now offering a new certificate program in nutrition support. The instruction for the program is offered online and is self-guided. It covers basic concepts related to nutrition support for adult patients.
The program is designed not just for pharmacists but other healthcare professionals as well. It consists of 11 instructional modules covering best practices in ordering, access, preparation and administration of nutritional support, as well as complications that can arise from such nutritional supplements that are administered in various ways. The instruction also covers issues such as malnutrition, the nutritional needs of people on such support, and monitoring such procedures.
Collaboration among healthcare professionals is important in providing nutritional support to make sure that patients who have more complicated medical and nutritional requirements get the appropriate care, according to ASHP officials. There is a need for health professionals to know the basics about nutrition support, which this program is intended to fill, they said, adding that nutrition is an essential part of any treatment plan, and can be life-saving for some.
ASPEN is an organization of healthcare professionals representing all different areas of medicine, including dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physicians and scientists. It has more than 6,500 members, and its goal is to improve patient care by providing more effective nutrition support therapy.
The Nutrition Support Certificate is one of 12 offered by the ASHP. Like the one in nutrition support, all are online, self-guided classes for healthcare professionals that also fulfill at least 15 hours of continuing education requirements. To earn the certificate, a person must first complete all the classes in the program, practice exercises, and pass a comprehensive exam.
The learning modules in the nutrition support program include the following topics: prevention, assessment, and treatment of malnutrition; nutritional requirements; nutrition support access; enteral and parenteral nutrition products; nutrition support ordering; product preparation and distribution; nutrition support administration; nutrition support complications: imbalances and deficiencies; ongoing monitoring of nutrition support; and error reporting.
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