With rising nutritional awareness among people, the demand for dietitians has also increased manifold. Dietitians are required in many sectors, be it in sports to guide sportsmen or in the community health service sector. The work of a dietitian involves advising people to make the right food choices that are healthy for them. They motivate people to eat nutritious food and may also suggest dietary changes based on the individual's health condition and body requirements. If you are planning to become one, a look into the coming paragraphs will guide you through the multitude of options that are available.
Becoming a Dietitian:-
A Bachelor's degree in nutritional science or any related field is the minimum requirement to become a dietitian. There are various degrees and diplomas ranging between two to four years duration. The candidate generally has to study biology, food science and mathematics at this level and gains all the knowledge of the food contents. To increase the job credibility a student may take specialized courses that are supported by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The candidates who have passed from recognized universities and colleges can also take up a certificate course to become a registered dietitian. A candidate also goes through internship that trains him in the actual working style before he chooses a career.
The Various Options
1: Clinical Dietitian: Clinical dietitians are required in clinics or hospitals to cater to the needs of patients. They are also required in fitness and wellness centers to suggest a proper diet plan for the members. They devise a diet plan for each patient based on the health of the patient and requirements. A person with a heart ailment may require a different diet than a person with a kidney stone problem. Dietitians being nutritional experts make a diet plan for the patients that is suitable and may also help fast recovery. The established hospitals and clinics mostly hire registered dietitians.
2: Consulting Dietitian: Consulting dietitians have their own private clinics and individuals generally consult them for the right diet plan that best suits to solve their problem. They may suggest the diet plan for a person aiming for weight loss, or a person with diabetes or designing a nutritious diet for children. They consult the patients on a one to one basis to formulate the best diet plan.
3: Sports Dietitian: A nutritious diet is very important for a sports person and sports teams generally hire an expert dietitian to look after the needs of the players. Experience is a key factor to become a sports dietitian, and he generally travels world over with the team. There are some specialized programs you can take to become one.
4: Public Health Dietitian: A public health dietitian encourages healthy eating habits among the community by creating awareness about the significance of a balanced diet. They may even suggest diet modifications to people and motivate them to incorporate the changes in the diet. They generally work in the government health sector and organization.
5: Administrative Dietitian: An administrative dietitian works with big establishments like educational institutes, corporate houses, cafeterias, diet of army professionals, prisons etc., They are responsible for devising a healthy diet plan for the individuals in these organizations. They monitor overall health facilities, concerning food, at the place.
6: In Research: The research sector includes food and beverage companies that want to add quality to their products by making them nutritious. Dietitians have an important role to play in this sector. Research may also include dietitians working to improve the nutritional content of food.
Mentioned above were the various career options that are available for a dietitian. There is high potential for career growth in this sector as nutrition is a vast field with a bright future. Considering these factors the pay is also quite good, although a lot of factors can influence it. So, hone all your skills that also include communication and patient care skills and choose a career option that best suits you.