A dietary aide is a member of the dietary team that works under the supervision of a registered dietitian. A dietary aide must hold a high school diploma or GED. No formal certification is required, and many dietary aides learn their trade via on-the-job training. There are also educational certificate programs for those that desire a more formal training structure in becoming a dietary aide. The roles of the dietary aide include meal planning and preparation, meal delivery, and general custodial duties. The ideal dietary aide is very detail-oriented, organized, self-motivated, and has interest and experience with food preparation, nutrition and health. Dietary aides must be people-oriented, as they generally deliver food to various populations in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities, assisted-living facilities, daycares, schools, and home health settings. The hours can vary, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Generally work schedules are flexible, and can range from 4 to 12 hour days. Working conditions are overall generally favorable. Work is indoors, but may require frequent standing, heavy lifting and hot kitchen conditions, as well as working with knives and other kitchen equipment. Dietary aides, as members of the healthcare field, are frequently in demand.
Dietary Aide Tasks
- Observe patient food intake and report progress and dietary problems to dietician.
- Monitor food preferences, menu compliance and dietary restrictions.
- Assist with meal preparation, dining room assistance, dishwashing and cleaning of kitchen.