Becoming a Dietitian
Millions of people across the globe are facing a common disease today – Obesity. Be it adults or children, most of us hardly know how to eat better without compromising our well-being. Dietitians play a key role in guiding the kids and grown-ups to plan their food and nutrition programs in an effective manner. They work everywhere – schools, colleges, institutions, gyms, cafeterias, clinics, hospitals and companies.
Basic Requirements: To become a Dietitian, you need to possess a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, food and nutrition or any related area. It’s up to you whether you want to become a registered dietitian (RD) or not. RD is the title given by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to those who complete the graduation programs approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) along with an internship program.
Areas of Operation: A Dietitian will have to work in the following fields – Community Nutrition, Human Nutrition, Applied Nutrition Counseling, Lifespan Nutrition, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Medical Ethics, Nutritional Chemistry, Vegetarian Cuisine and Spa Cuisine.
Roles Dietitians Play:
- Assess the health conditions and diet schedule of patients
- Listen to their problems and requirements
- Suggest them the importance of nutritious food and healthy eating habits
- Opt for regular evaluation of the diet plans
- Keep yourself updated with the latest nutritional science research
- Find out the loopholes and shortcomings in a diet consultation if the results are not positive.
The Challenges: Your journey does not stop after getting the job of a Dietitian. Here are the key challenges that may come your way:
- You need to possess knowledge of wide range of chronic diseases and illness, their impact, ramification and the best treatment to prevent or cure those.
- You may need further training and guidance in food management, diet control and cost effectiveness, as your clients/patients will be looking forward to those always.
- You must have strong skills and patience to communicate with the patients to know their requirements better, understand their concerns and find out the best possible solution.
Salary & Wages: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dietitians and nutritionists was $55,240 in May 2012.
Job Opportunities: The BLS further specifies that the employment of dietitians is projected to grow 21% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. This is an encouraging trend to motivate the career aspirants to opt for this career.
In short, a Dietitian holds more importance in today’s busy and digital world where healthcare takes a back seat for the working class, who does not even know how to manage their work and health simultaneously. As we know, ‘Health is Wealth’, a Dietitian shows the way to people to live healthy and work with a peace of mind.