Dietician Job Description
A dietitian is a person who is an expert in nutrition and dietetics. Dietitians guide clients and patients on their diets, with the purpose of helping them lead a healthy lifestyle and achieve a specific health-related goal. They help people manage conditions such as food allergies, diabetes and weight management.
A dietician should be enthusiastic, curious, methodical, persistent, helpful and caring, and have the ability to think critically and solve problems. They should also be able to relate to a wide variety of people and communicate effectively.
Pursue a career in dietetics if you have aptitude for science and interest in food and nutrition.
What does a Dietician do?
Dieticians may do some or all of the following:
- carryout research to find out the nutritional facts about foods
- counsel, support and motivate clients and patients on good nutrition
- consult with other healthcare professionals to plan special diets for patients
- plan menus for clients and patients
- help develop and analyze food recipes
- test new food products and supervise activities of food companies
- work with sport teams to determine nutritional needs or diet restrictions for their athletes
- write reports and make presentations on food or nutritional matters
- market food and nutritional products
Where does a Dietician work?
Dieticians usually work normal office hours, but may also work evenings and weekends. They work in offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, community health centers, cafeterias, and private practices.
What is Required to Become a Dietician?
To become a dietitian, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, clinical nutrition, food science and nutrition or a similar discipline.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Basic statistics
- Food science
- Food management theory
- Food production and management
- Nutrition and health
- Food microbiology
- Nutritional biochemistry
- Human physiology
A dietician may specialize to become any of the following:
- Consultant Dietitian
- Research Dietitian and Nutritionist
- Clinic Dietitian and Nutritionist
- Therapeutic Dietitian
- Industrial nutritionist
- Public Health Nutritionist
- Nutrition educator
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Dieticians need to have:
- self discipline
- courteousness and tactfulness
- integrity and reliability
- confidence and assertiveness
- manual and finger dexterity
- good attention to detail
- good interpersonal skills
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- record keeping and organizational skills
- counseling and teaching skills
- the ability to follow nutritional practices
- the ability to keep up with the latest development in the field
- the ability to work well with others as well as independently
- knowledge of biochemistry
- knowledge of human physiology
- knowledge of food preparation techniques
- knowledge of food and nutrition
- knowledge of eating disorders
- knowledge of nutrition research techniques
- knowledge of food service quality and safety procedures
- knowledge of medical terminology
Should I be a Dietician?
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