What does a Dietician do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
A dietician is a medically trained professional that alters an individual’s diet based on medical conditions, body make up, blood type, or contributing factors affecting the nutrition one receives. They assess, diagnose, recommend, and treat various medical diagnosis and dietary problems primarily on a one-on-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 bachelor’s degree is required in nutrition, food, dietetics, clinical nutrition, food service systems management, or 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, you 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 you sit for the written exam offered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to become registered. However, not all dietitians decide to become registered, some just get licensed. Be sure to check your state’s requirements.
Job Description of a Dietician
A dietician helps prevent illness or improve a person’s condition through diet. They educate groups, individuals, or families about nutrition, food, and it’s connection to disease or weight problems to help them live healthy lifestyles.
Dietitians also help people maintain a healthy weight and help them to set and achieve goals as part of their health maintenance. They may also design programs for food services that provide meals for clients, such as schools or hospitals. In this case, they would check nutrition standards and ensure the food is within health and safety codes.
If a client has specific health challenges, they may consult a physician or other health care professional to determine if any changes to the diet or nutrition of the person are needed. A dietician can be found working in cafeterias, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, or clinics. Some may be self-employed with their own practice.