Anyone can claim to be a nutritionist but not a dietitian. You need a degree for it. However, if you aim to pursue this field, here are some facts to pique your interest.
We all need food to survive. However, meal planning can be complex if you have an illness or an allergy. One always ends up wondering,
Is this something I can eat?
Will it be good for me?
Is it possible this food contains the allergen I am allergic to?
Although we often believe we understand the answers to these questions, there is more to your diet than what you eat. Therefore, professional perspectives are valuable in helping us achieve our diet goals.
Our diet represents our lifestyle choices, and this is where professional dieticians can play an integral role.
Being a qualified credentialed dietician or dietetic student, you tend to believe you know all about the field. Of course, when you spend at least 4 to 5 years of your life achieving your dream goals, you’d naturally assume you’re well-informed in your field area.
However, what if there are astounding facts about your own profession your dream-filled eyes missed during your hustle to achieve your goals?
In this article, we’ve discussed some interesting facts about your profession. But, before we get to that, let us shed some light on who dieticians actually are.
Who Are Dieticians?
Dieticians are qualified professionals in the field of nutrition who work in various settings, including businesses, hospitals and more. They talk to clients one-on-one to evaluate their nutritional habits, lifestyle and health needs. Based on this, they create meals specific to their clients.
Students who pursue a career in the medical profession often opt for this area as it’s considered an interesting area, and you can work in diverse fields.
However, it can sometimes be tough for them to manage their academic and professional workloads. So, they often find medical essay writing help beneficial.
Interesting Facts to Know about Dieticians
Now that you know who dieticians are, it’s time to know about the interesting facts about this profession.
1. Dieticians Are Not Nutritionists
Several people confuse “nutritionists” as “dieticians”, not realising they are not the same. However, there is a noteworthy difference between both.
Nutritionists are trained to be fitness and food experts. Their primary job is to help people achieve their health and fitness goals by advising them on how to live a healthier lifestyle. However, a nutritionist lacks the training and authority to counsel a client on managing eating problems or diets for health conditions.
Because the profession is entirely unregulated and is not a service provided by a medical centre or the NHS, a nutritionist will typically work with individuals privately. Because of the lack of regulation, nutritionists are frequently found with job titles such as:
- Nutrition Experts
- Sports Nutritional
- Nutritional Specialist
- Wellness Coach
- Health Coach
- Infant Nutritional Coach
- Nutritional Therapist
Dieticians organise food and nutrition initiatives to enhance healthy eating practices. A dietician can also provide rigorous training to address eating disorders, related conditions and medical illnesses.
Dieticians have an incredible amount of career options available to them. Most work for a for-profit organization, such as a private health care facility or a nursing home. The NHS is the largest employer of nutrition experts in the UK, whether in a medical advisory position within a hospital or assisting doctors at a Local GP. They are the only nutrition professionals regulated and governed by law. Some common job roles they play in different fields are:
- Foodservice Systems Management
2. Dieticians Constantly Conduct Research
Continuing professional development is not only a core value but also a necessity. Food research is ongoing worldwide, and new research can lead to new learnings and insights into nutritional science.
For instance, a new research study can provide insight into why a person develops a specific disease. Depending on the findings of these new studies, a dietician can create a diet plan. Continuous learning is a stirring aspect of this job!
3. Educational Requirements for Dieticians
Although there is some variation across countries, in general, to become a dietician, you must first achieve an undergrad degree. This program also includes a wide range of subjects, such as:
- Social sciences and communications.
- Foundational science (biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, physiology).
- Profession-related courses include nutrition requirements throughout the human lifecycle, chronic disease interventions, specific diseases, food service management, and community nutrition and population health.
In addition to education, dieticians must have at least 1250 hours of supervised, hands-on training in disease management, food production systems, public health, counselling, and communications.
Some undergraduate programs offer opportunities to complete practicum/experiential elements, while others don’t. Eventually, to become a regulated health care professional, you need to pass a registration exam.
4. Dieticians Work with Diverse Clients
A dietician’s primary responsibility is to assist people in meeting all their dietary requirements and living happier, healthier lives.
Patients want health professionals who are enthusiastic and make them feel as if they are being cared for. Many dieticians find this factor of their jobs to be extremely enjoyable.
In an age of social media and online influencers, it can be challenging to know who to trust for diet-related knowledge. When in doubt, a good place to start is with a dietician. After all, these dependable sources have attended school for it, so they know what they’re talking about!
Dieticians assist in dispelling false information that circulates from unrestrained and unqualified sources. Social media, magazines, and even family/friends are examples of these sources. This is refuted by empirical proof and years of work experience.
6. Dieticians Have Different Skillsets
Being a dietician requires you to have various skills. Some of these skills are more important than others. These include:
Communication Skills – Dieticians must translate complicated scientific information into a diet their clients can understand. Professionals who can read, comprehend, and perceive research data can communicate that information and provide context for common people.
Translational Skills – Dieticians sometimes have to gather complicated science data and turn it into information that can be used to create meal plans. Dieticians working for big organisations use the same information and produce food products out of it.
Organisational Skills – Dieticians frequently work with many clients. Therefore, being organised to manage all these clients is very important. This is accomplished by keeping meticulous records, keeping on top of routine administrative tasks, and managing their time. For example, a dietician working in a long-term care facility may be responsible for meal plans for more than ten people.
In professional practice, all dieticians, like clinical nutritionists, offer evidence-based guidance to adequately address various health issues, from gastrointestinal disorders and food sensitivities to food-drug interactions and parenteral nutrition.
However, unlike clinical nutritionists, skilled dieticians can also provide medical nutrition therapy and plans depending on every patient’s medical condition.
People who want to become dieticians must enjoy working with people one-on-one to assist them in solving their issues and creating a healthy diet routine. Dieticians promote healthy eating, but it’s more than just a job for them because they enjoy being around food and assisting others with it.
Moreover, dieticians can be communication specialists, practitioners, policymakers and sometimes educators. Therefore, if you aim to pursue a career in this study area, it would be fun and beneficial for you as this study area is not limited to just one field.