Positions as a renal dietitian are common at hospitals and clinics, especially those that have specialized care for dialysis patients. The requirements for these positions include being a registered dietitian with the state, which requires a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field. Other potential requirements may include relevant certifications and credentialing with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. In addition, many positions require at least one to two years' experience in a job related to clinical nutrition.
The renal dietitian is responsible for working directly with patients to determine plans and goals for nutrition, counseling patients and their families, monitoring diet progress, and assessing results. Use of various tools to measure and assess patients is needed, in addition to basic computer software for preparing reports and communication with colleagues. These employees frequently work independently in day-to-day work, but reports to management and supervisory positions should be expected regularly. The work environment is mostly be indoors, typically limited to hospital or clinic settings.
Physical requirements for renal dietitians are generally limited to common tasks such as moving around their work environment, kneeling, and assisting patients. Work hours vary based on the needs of the employer, but shifts during regular business operating hours are often available. Most daily activities performed by renal dietitians involve working with patients, but meetings and other administrative work may also occur regularly.
Renal 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.