Nutrition Focused Physical Assessment Training and Education

I have developed a comprehensive training course on Nutrition Focused Physical Assessment (NFPA).  The training is for dietetic interns and nutrition practitioners (RDNs and DTRs).  NFPA involves a complete head-to-toe exam of a client/patient to look for clues that may lead the diagnosis of malnutrition or micronutrient imbalance (vitamin/mineral deficiency or toxicity).  NFPA has become a vital part of the nutrition care process and it is essential that nutrition practitioners learn skills to implement it.  You may, and often will, find clues you would not otherwise to assist you in reaching an accurate nutrition diagnosis.

Objectives of training:

  • Describe the history of identifying malnutrition in a clinical setting, leading to today’s practices
  • Describe standardized process for identifying severe and non-severe (moderate) malnutrition
  • Use a nutrition focused physical exam (NFPE) to aid in identifying severe and non-severe (moderate) malnutrition
  • Use a NFPE to assess:
    • Subcutaneous fat
    • Muscle mass/muscle wasting
    • Fluid accumulation/edema
    • Functional status/hand grip strength
  • Hands-on practice using a dynamometer and skin fold calipers on peers
  • Learn to identify possible physical manifestations of micronutrient deficiency/toxicity using the NFPE
  • Build confidence with practicing nutrition focused physical assessment in a clinical setting


Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been considering bringing someone into my facility to train my staff on NFPA.  What value will this training be of to my employees?

This training will bring students or employees up to speed with current evidence based best practices in the field of clinical nutrition.  It will be particularly useful if your facility serves an older adult population or population that tends to have multiple co-morbidities.  Some facilities have been able to use the documentation of malnutrition to justify their current staffing or even add staffing to their department.

Can the training be divided up into two classes?

Yes, the training is in two main parts.  The first part is all about identifying malnutrition, specifically.  The second part focuses on micronutrient deficiency and toxicity.

How long does the training take?

Each section of the training takes 2 hours, so the entire training takes 4 hours of in-class time.  This could be slightly scaled up or down depending on the needs of the program.

What should students bring to the training?

Printed slides or the slides could be pulled up on their computer to follow along with, and a calculator.  Larger programs may want to include their own dynamometers and skin fold calipers if they wish for this component to be included in the training.


How to schedule a training

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time to get more information or schedule a training for your group!  I can be reached in my office at 678-489-1074 or by e-mail at