Chief clinical dietitians generally work in hospitals and other healthcare institutions to implement nutrition plans in order to encourage patients' health and recovery. These dietitians have extensive knowledge of the nutritional field and all new developments so patients can be provided with the best nutritional plans possible.
Chief clinical dieticians must consider what patients are able to eat and how it coincides with various health restraints, and it is also important to be aware of interactions between foods, drugs, herbs, and supplements to make sure that nutritional items do not clash. These dietitians must also emphasize the modification of food textures when necessary in order to increase patients' nutritional intake and progression toward solid foods, if possible. Knowledge of special diets, such as religious and cultural diets, is also important.
Those in this position must examine each patient’s needs individually in order to create customized plans, so patience, people skills, and problem-solving skills are all important for the position. Chief clinical dietitians must work well with other medical staff such as nurses and doctors in order to devise these plans, as well.
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition is generally required for this position, and valid state licensing and board registration may also be necessary. Prior experience as a dietitian may be required by some employers.
Chief Clinical Dietitian Tasks
Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement complex dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
Analyze medical records and patient charts to assess nutritional needs.
Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, diet modifications and food selection and preparation.
Consult with physicians and health care personnel to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient.
Supervise and lead the dietitian staff and give direction in all aspects of patient nutritional care.