Registered dietitians usually work in a hospital, nursing home, catering company, or private practice environment to ensure that patients are receiving their necessary nutrition with respect to their diets and dietary restrictions.
Nutritional assessments are often carried out for individual patients, and plans are crafted based on the results. Patients may be periodically reassessed to monitor the success of their plans, and dietitians may also work with the kitchen of a facility to craft meals and menus that meet certain criteria. They should be familiar with a wide range of foods and cuisines, and strong communication skills are also important to educate staff members, patients, and caretakers in nutrition essentials and habits. They may also supervise food preparation to ensure that the proper nutritional requirements, as well as safety and hygiene precautions, are met at all times. The ability to multitask and oversee different cases and projects at once is necessary in this position, and broad knowledge of different types of clinical nutrition requirements is also necessary.
A bachelor's or master's degree in nutrition or dietetics is usually required for this position, and applicants must also complete a dietetic internship program and take an exam to gain the registered dietitian certification. There are both part-time and full-time positions available during daytime or nighttime hours, and weekend and holiday hours are often required, as well.
Registered/Licensed Dietitian Tasks
Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits and nutrition monitoring.
Screen, assess and evaluate nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
May monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, diet modifications, food selection and preparation.
Consult with physicians and health care staff to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient.