Dietician help people by giving advice on diet and nutrition.Job Category:
What you will do:
As part of this role, you could:
- take a detailed client case history focusing on diet and lifestyle
- decide on which tests to carry out in the lab
- encourage clients to understand the impact of diet and lifestyle on health
- analyse and report back test results and agree on a nutritional plan
- monitor a client’s progress over a period of time
- create and update confidential case notes
- refer clients on to other healthcare services when necessary
- customer service skills
- knowledge of biology, chemistry, food allergies, eating disorders, human anatomy & physiology
- knowledge of pharmacology, psychology, rehabilitation and food sciences
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
As well as:
To become a Dietitian, you should aim for a strong educational foundation in science and related subjects during your years. Dietitians work in healthcare, helping individuals manage their nutrition and dietary needs, so having a background in relevant subjects is important. Here are relevant considerations:
- Science Subjects: courses in biology and chemistry are highly valuable. These subjects provide a solid foundation in the basic sciences, which are fundamental for dietetic studies.
- Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills are necessary for dietetic calculations, such as nutrient analysis and dietary planning.
- English Language: Strong communication skills, including reading, writing, and verbal communication, are essential for dietitians as they interact with patients, document patient records, and provide dietary guidance.
- Food Technology or Home Economics: While not mandatory, courses related to food technology or home economics can provide insights into cooking, food preparation, and nutrition, which are relevant to dietetics.
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You’ll improve your employment prospects if you get a qualification that is recognised by one of the professional organisations for nutritional therapy / dietetics.
Courses are available at undergraduate degree, postgraduate diploma and Master’s level.
You should make sure that you are satisfied that courses have a good reputation and you understand how they will be taught. It’s also important to find out how much clinical experience you will gain as this may vary.
Your prospects will be greatest as a self-employed therapist. To be successful you need to build up and maintain a sound reputation and client base which may mean working long hours at first.
Networking and training in other therapies may help to increase the number of clients that you see.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work freelance/be self-employed managing your own hours.
You could work at a client’s home, at a GP practice or in a therapy clinic.
Career Path & Progression:
You could specialise in working with people with specific medical conditions like arthritis or chronic fatigue.
You could grow your business and supervise or manage other staff.
With experience you could move into teaching, writing content on nutritional therapy or doing research.