Job Description of a Dietician

Significance

Dieticians are helpful to people for many reasons. The job of a dietician is to consider the role of nutrition in a person's life and how it can help him to achieve optimum health. Dieticians make sure that nutritional needs are being met and create specialized meal plans or recommendations based on what foods will be the most helpful to a person. In addition, they educate their clients so they can learn how to make the best food choices on their own. Since every individual is different, they may work with their clients' health care providers or specialists to implement a plan that is catered toward the unique needs of each individual.

Function

Dieticians are especially useful to someone who is seeking to lose weight or has a condition that entails dietary restrictions. For example, some may have dietary restrictions like vitamin deficiencies or other illnesses that requires a particular diet regimen. A diabetic may use the services of a dietician to help her monitor her sugar and caloric intake. The dietician will help the person come up with a suitable menu. Dieticians will come up with a meal plan that feasibly supports their client's goals, removing a lot of the guesswork and hassle that comes with creating different menus. Dieticians are employed for a number of additional reasons. They may be hired to work for an individual or family, or for a health care related facility to create meal plans and assess the dietary needs of a specific population.

Types

The work of a dietician usually falls into one or more of the following areas: clinical dieticians, managerial dieticians, community dieticians and consulting dieticians. The work of a clinical dietician is frequently seen in hospitals and other specialized facilities. In these settings they work closely with the doctors or practitioners to establish a diet for the patient that is beneficial for his overall recovery, treatment and well being. The job of a managerial dietician is to oversee the planning of meals and nutritional intake on a large scale. Their duties may include coming up with specific meal plans as well as overseeing them. They may be in charge of preparing a budget for the food plans and supplies as well as making sure that every meal they distribute, meets special rules and regulations.
Community dietitians may work in both the public and private sectors. For example, in addition to seeing individual clients, they may be employed by the city or state to counsel and educate the public and specific communities on the subject of nutrition and dietary needs. The work of community dieticians can be especially helpful in working with populations that are financially disadvantaged or have a limited number of resources available them. In addition to working within public health agencies and groups, their practice and expertise can be invaluable to health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
Consulting dieticians are similar to clinical dieticians as well as the other groups, but they tend to work in contractual periods. This means that they are called upon to assist with special cases or individuals for a designated amount of time. A business or food manufacturing company may hire a clinical dietician to do research, analyze nutritional information on products or help to formulate and improve an existing health and nutrition plan.

Features

Additional benefits of using a dietician, aside from the obvious health related ones, include the overall education they provide. A successful dietician teaches her clients about the importance of nutrition and how significant a role it plays in the body's welfare. The clients in turn, will be able to put into practice what they learned and maintain their ideal level of health and well being.

Expert Insight

If you choose to consult a dietician, it's a good idea to make a list of what your goals are and what obstacles are preventing you from achieving the results that you want.
Furthermore, if you have a health related concern such as high cholesterol or vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients deficiencies, you should inform your dietician. To select the dietician that's right for you, look into their experience, credentials and specialties. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is a great resource (see link in Resources below). Dieticians design and manage various food and food service programs that support a healthy lifestyle and nutritional intake. There are different types of dieticians that work within specific fields.