Purpose and Mission
Dietitians are experts on food and nutrition that help people improve their diet. These healthcare professionals assist people in managing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer and food allergies, as well as offering advice on diet and improving general health.
One of the primary responsibilities of dietitians is to educate people regarding healthy eating habits and assist in creating appropriate food plans and menus. Some dietitians are also employed in the food industry, providing advice on developing healthier food products or improving the nutritional content of existing products.
Dietitians typically work at hospitals, nursing homes, in-patient psychiatric facilities, prisons and schools, so in most cases they report to a department head or service chief. Some dietitians are also employed in state and local government.
Many dietitians do have direct supervisory responsibilities, such as overseeing other members of the healthcare team or evaluating with food vendors or preparers. Less-experienced, however, may have relatively few supervisory duties.
In order to become a dietitian, you must complete an accredited dietetics graduate program, typically resulting in a Master of Diatetics degree. Note that entry to a postgraduate course typically requires earning an appropriate bachelor degree.
Of interest, the Dietitians Association of Australia accredits dietetics programs in Australia, and most dietitians choose to become members of DAA.
Responsibilities of a Dietitian
The primary job responsibilities of a professional dietitian include: