Dietitian

 Specializations

  • Clinical—work in hospital and other health care facilities. Part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Community—work with wellness programs and international health organizations.
  • Foodservice—responsible for large-scale food planning and service.
  • Gerontological—specialists in nutrition and aging.
  • Pediatric—provide health advice for persons under the age of 18.
  • Research—studies and researches nutrition and dietetics.
  • Administrative—manages dietary department and implements policy and procedure.
  • Business—serve as resource people for the media.
  • Consultant—works under contract in private and public institutions counseling staff on proper nutrition.

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • A Dietitian is an expert in food and nutrition; they promote good health through proper eating.
  • They supervise the preparation and service of food, develop modified diets, participate in research and educate individuals and groups on good nutritional habits.
  • May specialize in certain areas and therefore their duties may vary.
  • Only people with specified educational credentials can call themselves "dietitians". The term "nutritionist" is also widely used, however, is NOT regulated as "dietitian" is.
  • Clinical dietitians in a hospital setting, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, consult with physicians and other health care personnel.
  • They create menus and plan meals and nutritional requirements, based on an individual’s dietary needs and restrictions as well as providing education on proper nutrition.
  • Dietitians may also do studies and research in nutrition and dietetics.
  • Clinical dietitians work in health care settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing, homes, health maintenance organizations (HMO’s), government departments, home health care agencies, and public health organizations.
  • Might work in other various locations such as cafeterias and kitchens depending on specialization.
  • Increased interest in nutrition has led to opportunities in food manufacturing, advertising, and marketing, in which dieticians analyze foods, prepare literature for distribution, or report on issues such as the nutritional content of recipes, dietary fiber, or vitamin supplements.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Enjoy working with many different people.
  • Most often enjoy pleasant working conditions.
  • Clinical dietitians often have a high amount of patient and people interaction.
  • Dieticians may also be on their feet often during a regular workday.