What does a Dietician do?
A dietician is a medically trained professional that alters an individual’s diet based on medical conditions body make up, blood type, or contributing factor affecting nutrition one receives. They assess, diagnose, recommend, and treat various medical diagnosis and dietary problems primarily on an one-one basis. Their primary goal is to ensure that the right quantity and type of nutrients are being consumed by the individual they are working with.
How to become a Dietician
Usually a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required in nutrition, food, dietetics, clinical nutrition, food service systems management and clinical nutrition for this occupation. Some decide to pursue a Master’s degree and most states require you to become registered or licensed. To become registered one must attend a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in addition to completing a 6-12 months internship that is supervised by a licensed registered dietician. Only then can an applicant sit for the written exam offered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to become registered. However, not all dietician decide to become registered, some just get licensed. Check the State Licensure Agency Contact List for your state requirements.
Job Description of a Dietician
A dietician helps prevent and diagnose illnesses, such as, diabetics and heart attacks or other health or medical conditions, by educating groups, individuals or families in nutrition, food and it’s connection to these diseases and help them to live healthy lifestyles.
They help people maintain a healthy weight and help them to set and achieve goals as part of their health maintenance. They design programs for the promotion of health and conduct food services, to include, the supervision of food services that provide meals for clients, such as, schools, hospitals or other services. They are involved in counseling on nutrition and healthy eating choices in order to improve health, which may include, diet restrictions, food selections, preparations and modifications.
If a client has specific health challenges, they may consult a physician or other health care professional to determine any changes needed to the diet or nutrition of the person. They also oversee that a food service provider’s adhere to certain quality standards in sanitation and safety that may be required.
He or she analyzes, tests and develops low-fat, chemical-free or low cholesterol meals for a group or individual and designs certain curriculums to be used in teaching healthy eating habits, like, visual aids, manuals or other materials. They check for nutrition standards in areas, like, schools or cafeterias by reading food labels and fortification to stay within the boundaries of health and safety codes.
He or she would document and record information and interact well with supervisors, co-workers and subordinates and may train or teach others. They should be able to make informed decisions and solve problems. A dietician can be found working in cafeterias, hospitals, nursing homes, schools or clinics. Some may be self-employed with their own practice.