What does a Dietitian do?
Dietitians are experts on how to better use food and nutrition to promote the health or the management of disease for a patient or client. A dietician will advise on what to eat to lead a healthier lifestyle or to attain a set of health-related goals, including weight loss, the management of diabetes or the reduction of high blood pressure.
Dietitians evaluate their patients’ health and habits. They assess this alongside the patients’ health and lifestyle goals. Through their findings and what the patient ultimately hopes to achieve, a dietitian makes recommendations and provides advice about what patients should eat or avoid eating to better achieve their goals. As specialists, dietitians provide their clients and patients with additional, customized information specific to their needs and goals. Dietitians work with individuals and clients in clinical settings, including hospitals or long-term care facilities, and in the public health capacity, or in school cafeterias or prisons. Dietitians have completed a bachelor’s degree and certification from an ACEND-accredited program.
- Deliver between meal nourishments, when needed, directly to each patient.
- Prepare food in accordance with safe food handling procedures.
- Complete and process service tracking paperwork and reports as needed.
- Avoid loss, breakages, and waste of supplies and equipment.
- Understand diet order restrictions and offer appropriate choices to patients.
- Ensure that food is served in an attractive, appetizing manner.
- Assist with placing meal orders.
- Report problems and needs to the supervisor in a timely manner.
- Work with managers to ensure the meal management is accurate.
- Review diet orders and food allergies received from nursing units.
- Monitor patients on modified diets, tube feedings, and supplemental feedings.
- Plan and coordinate the use of special dietary regimens.
- Confer with the health care team to develop goals related to patient and resident care.
- Attend meetings as required, and participate on committees as directed
- Maintain cleanliness and sanitation to prevent food home illnesses.
- Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in dietetics, nutrition, nutritional sciences, or nutrition dietetics or equivalent experience.
- A positive attitude and leadership skills.
- A critical thinker and problem solver.
- Strict attention to detail and dexterity.
- Is a professional and a collaborator.
- Demonstrated dexterity and willingness to take on tasks such as dish washing or sanitizing.
Average Base Pay
Dietitian Career Path
Learn how to become a Dietitian, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
“For a new kinesiologist the pay was really good and the clinic hours were reasonable.”
“Excellent Training opportunities and career progression as the organisation is developing and exploring new dimensions.”
“It is a great opportunity to make decent money while making the lives of its residents much easier.”
“I really enjoy the work life balance I'm able to have working at Eden.”
“Great team work and friendly”
“Management was extremely professional and pleasant to work with.”
“People are nice and friendly.”
“Their proposed schedule is usually not being followed because we always have to work overtime and work on weekends.”
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of dietitians
The typical day of a dietitian includes working in healthcare facilities, specifically with patients on assessing their dietary needs and recommending nutritional changes. They may also work with hospitals creating menus and food preparations that accommodate a wide range of patients' dietary and nutritional needs.
The best part about being a dietitian is that they play an important role in helping patients understand how diets can affect their health and improve symptoms. Becoming a dietitian can lead to a consistent position with a versatile workday. Dietitians can typically have a traditional work schedule, which includes Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with weekends and holidays off.
Working as a dietitian may include stressful interactions with patients who have recently learned of a medical condition. One of the challenges of being a dietitian is that some patients may be resistant to making changes, so excellent communication skills and problem solving abilities are crucial.