Role of Dietitians Most people think that dietitians work primarily in a hospital or a Food Service setting. With increased consumer interest in healthy eating and advent of information technology, the role of the registered dietitian has evolved beyond this. Dietitians are essential members of the health care team and have a wide range of job opportunities.
Work places of Dietitians:
- Hospital/ rehabilitation centre
- Medical clinic with family physicians
- Community health centre
- Home Care services Nursing home/long term care facility
- Health education/public health agency
- Employee cafeteria School food and nutrition service
- Military food and nutrition service
- Corrections food and nutrition service
- Food industry (manufacturers/producers)
- Catering/ hospitality industry
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Universities and/or colleges
- Consultant/ private practice
- Other government department/ agency
They identify nutrition problems and assess the nutritional status of patients; develop care plans and monitor effectiveness of nutrition interventions; and counsel patients on therapeutic diet modifications.
In the community:
Public Health Nutritionists / Dietitians; Dietitians working in Community Centers:
They assess the nutritional needs of populations; identify community nutrition problems; and develop health promotion strategies, nutrition education programs and healthy eating resources. They work with individuals and groups to improve their nutritional well-being; prevent nutrition related diseases; increase access to food and enhance personal control of health.
In Food Service management:
Administrative Dietitians manage food production, distribution and service of high quality meals/snacks, ensuring adherence to sanitation and safety standards and a cost effective operation. They manage Food Service Departments in hospitals and other health care facilities, schools, universities, and businesses and may be employed by contract food companies.
In private practice:
Consulting Dietitians: They provide expertise in nutrition to promote health and prevent disease, counseling services for nutrition-related disease and disorders, and management advice to food service operations. They operate their own private consulting practices or businesses and work with, groups, workplaces, and media.
Dietitians in Business and Industry assist the private sector with research, development, marketing, and consumer education. Working with food and pharmaceutical companies, marketing association and food service providers, dietitians are able to develop, promote and market better food and nutritional products. In government, education and research:
Dietitians in Government develop nutrition and food policy based on scientific evidence in consultation with stakeholder groups. They also direct and administer nutrition programs and services and may work at the Federal, State, Local Government or Community level.
Dietitians in Education teach nutrition, food chemistry or food services administration to students in nutrition and dietetics, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, or the food and hospitality industry. These courses are taught at various levels elementary and secondary school, college, university, professional schools and hospitals.
Research Dietitians plan and direct research projects which will ultimately enhance patient care and improve the cost effectiveness of food service. Universities, health care facilities and industry all support research by Dietitians.