A dietician is one of those words that conjures up all sorts of images in the mind, such as people clad in white coats and considering lasagna not for its taste, but for what it can provide the human body with nutrition wise. But just what is a dietician? How do they work in the community? And what’s required in order to become one?
What is a Dietician? A Basic Dietician Job Description
At its most basic, a dietician works to provide members of the community with healthy eating and proper diet information. They understand what nutrients and minerals a human being needs to survive and thrive. While they aren’t all that clinical toward food, they do know what each food can provide us with, and how to integrate what we need into our diets.
Where does a Dietician Work?
There are many different types of dieticians, although they all follow the basic job description as above. For example there are clinical dietitians which work in hospitals and nursing homes.
These people will work with other medical professionals such as doctors and physicians to collectively improve the health of their patient. This is usually quite important for patients going into surgery.
Community dietitians typically run courses and work with individuals to educate and inform people about the value of healthy eating.
Others work in management positions and are responsible for the meal plans of people in schools, prisons or even company cafes.
They are responsible for the actual menus and such, although sometimes training staff and budgeting for food is also in the job description.
Finally there are dietitians that work in private practice to help anyone interested in healthy eating and living. They are usually able to offer customized plans to help with a variety of health concerns, from weight loss to immune system deficiency.
Private practice dietitians can also help prepare meal plans for parents who want to feed their children healthy meals, and aren’t quite sure where to start.
A registered dietitian salary is usually around $50,000, although of course this will vary depending on the type of job being done, as well as experience.
Can Anyone Just Be a Dietitian?
Unlike a nutritionist who requires no formal training (anyone can call themselves a nutritionist), you aren’t just allowed to call yourself a dietician. It’s a protected name for those that the relevant authorities have deemed suitable for the job.
In the United States, a dietician needs at least a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition. Different states need different requirements, although exams are typically involved. Some states require dietitians to be registered. Other countries around the world have their own systems in place to ensure dietitians are trained the way they need to be.
So what is a dietician? At their most basic, they provide the community with a very valuable service. They ensure that people are getting adequate nutrition where they need in, such as in schools and rest homes. With more and more people around the world becoming interested in the merits of healthy eating, it’s likely that we’ll see more dietitians come out of the woodwork as time ticks on.