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Ordering Lab Tests as a Nutrition Intern 

You might be asking yourself.  Can nutritionists order labs?  The answer is mostly YES, depending on the state you are in.  But what about nutrition interns?  Is lab testing in a nutritionist scope? Let’s tackle this together!

Lab assessment is a highly valued tool in functional nutrition practice, offering detailed insights into a patient's physiology. While certain lab tests provide in-depth scientific data, it's important to remember that you do not need to run labs to be an exceptional practitioner. If you're not comfortable with lab assessments, there are many other effective ways to begin and succeed in clinical practice. You can gradually incorporate lab assessments as you become more confident.  Take a look at our in-office testing to learn some hands-on tools you can use with your patients in the office. 

At TNHC, most supervisors, including myself, do not run labs before the first session and some supervisors don’t run lab tests for a few months. This approach allows us to build rapport with the client and make small changes to gain traction.

Today, I want to provide you with a checklist to guide you through this process. I will explain each step in the video, and the checklist will also be available with the recording.

Let's get started!

  1. SCOPE OF PRACTICE - It’s crucial to understand your state’s laws regarding the scope of practice. This is a complex topic that goes beyond the scope of this post, however it’s essential to know the Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) laws in your state, as lab assessment falls under MNT. Look at your state laws, reach out to American Nutrition Association (ANA) for support, talk to your supervisor

  1. NPI NUMBER - While not required by every lab company, some do necessitate a NPI number for account setup. You don’t need a license to obtain an NPI number, but it is important to check your state regulations, certain states have specific rules around taxonomy that you should be aware of.

  1. LAB OUTLETS - Consider signing up with a lab outlet like Evexia, Rupa, DHA Labs. These outlets provide access to a wide range of blood and functional labs. Many of these lab outlets offer support for interpretation and educational webinars - take advantage of these valuable resources! These outlets take on varying degrees of liability for ordering and the results of the tests. Some have built in restrictions on ordering diagnostic tests, in general nutritionist should not order diagnostic tests. 

  1. RUN LABS ON YOURSELF - A great way familiarize yourself with nutritionist lab testing is by running labs on yourself and your friends and family. The hands-on experience allows you to learn the ins and outs, as well as the nuances of different lab tests. By interpreting results in a familiar context, you’ll gain confidence in understanding and applying the data. This practice also helps you refine your skills and how to prepare or identify any challenges you might face when interpreting results with clients. 

  1. SIGN UP WITH INDIVIDUAL LAB COMPANIES - As you begin to specialize or frequently use specific tests, it’s beneficial to open individual accounts with those lab companies. Individual accounts allow you to take full advantage of their interpretation and educational resources, which is the best way to master each test. Many lab companies offer introductory promotions such as discounted rates on a set number of tests or an annual discounted test. Use these opportunities to run tests on yourself, clients, or family and friends to gain additional hands-on experience. Additionally you will be added to each lab companies email lists which often offer weekly or monthly free training webinars. Be sure to watch as many as possible to further enhance your understanding and skills! 

Below are our supervisors favorite tests:

Kate - Stool tests - Vibrant or GI MAP

Karen H - 3x4 Genetic report 

Dolan - Opus 23 Genomic Insight Test + NutraEval

Abra - GI MAP or DUTCH

Rebecca - OAT and NutrEval 

Happy Testing!


Gain confidence in your clinical nutrition skills in our monthly Clinical Working Group! Led by an experienced CNS supervisor and clinical nutritionist: share a case from your functional medicine clinic, gain health and nutrition resources and insights, collaborate with your supervisors and other nutrition graduates, and learn how to incorporate functional nutrition coaching skills with your clients to help them meet their long-term health goals.

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