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CNH9 Prescribe nutraceuticals to clients


This standard is about the ethical prescribing of nutraceuticals to clients.  The Nutritional Therapy Practitioner links theory to practice through the critical appraisal of a diversity of information sources. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and hormesis
  2. general mechanisms of action, possible side effects including induced nutrient deficiencies, and contra-indications of commonly used drugs
  3. factors affecting variability of responses to drugs and nutraceuticals including genetic influence, age, gender, health status, diet and lifestyle
  4. possible consequences of drug/food/nutraceutical/phytonutrient/herbal medicine/xenobiotic interactions
  5. how effects and side effects of drugs may affect diagnosis and prognosis
  6. how to use standard reference sources for information about named drugs
  7. how to appraise models of research and research findings used to trial drugs and drugs with diet and or nutraceuticals and translate to practice
  8. models of prescribing and how to apply in practice
  9. how form, formulation, and standardization affect bioavailability, synergy and antagonism, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, toxicity and safety
  10. how to determine dosage and timing of intake to rectify clinical or subclinical deficiency, and modulate antecedents, triggers and mediators of systems dysfunction
  11. prophylactic and palliative uses of nutraceuticals
  12. factors to consider when selecting nutraceuticals and how these may affect individuals’ response to such nutraceuticals including disability, religion, moral stance, socioeconomics, lifestyle, motivation and potential compliance
  13. risk-benefit factors to consider when deciding on nutraceuticals, and how these various factors may affect individuals’ reactions to such nutraceuticals
  14. how to adjust a prescription in relation to dietary and lifestyle modification, test results, past, current and future medication, and other interventions and treatments
  15. appropriate use of terminology and abbreviations when recording findings and communicating with other health professionals
  16. issues in translating government guidelines, research findings, traditional texts and promotional materials to the construction of individualized prescriptions
  17. how to prescribe ethically, cost effectively and with regard to the environment
  18. relevant governmental and professional regulations
  19. how timing of intake, storage and handling may affect the safety, integrity and effect of nutraceuticals
  20. the nature and extent of changes to performance or symptoms expected
  21. perceived negative effects that may be experienced by individuals and how to distinguish these from other causes of change and advise on appropriate action
  22. how to report adverse events
  23. how changes are explained by nutritional therapy principles and philosophy

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. select a prescribing methodology which is appropriate for the client based on the assessment
  2. identify nutraceuticals in accordance with the assessment and prescribing methodology select the nutraceuticals appropriate for the client and the stage of their treatment
  3. prescribe nutraceuticals that are most likely to give optimum benefit to the client
  4. dispense nutraceuticals to the client safely, or arrange for safe dispensing to take place
  5. explain the nutraceuticals and possible responses to the client
  6. encourage the client to monitor their condition and response to the nutraceuticals, and note any changes in their health and well-being
  7. communicate with other health care professionals as is appropriate
  8. evaluate compliance with and outcomes of the nutraceutical prescription in the context of dietary therapy and lifestyle advice to inform future plans and actions
  9. complete and maintain records in accordance with professional and legal requirements

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health. This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: HWB7 Interventions and treatments This standard has replaced CH NT1 and CH NT2. Related Functions Principles of Good Practice CNH1 Explore and establish the client's needs for complementary and natural healthcare CNH2 Develop and agree plans for complementary and natural healthcare with clients
CNH9 Prescribe nutraceuticals to clients
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health,
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