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Dietary Aide: Job Description and Salary Range
A dietary aide helps offer nutrition assistance to the residents in assisted-living facilities. CareerStint chooses to give a detailed job description and salary range of a dietary aide.
You can take the Certified Professional Food Manager Examination or the Food Safety Manager Certification Examination to become a dietary aide.
Dietary aides assist in preparing and serving meals to patients. In fact, not necessarily patients, for they do not work only in hospitals, they also work in nursing homes and related places as well. After a certain age, a proper diet becomes very essential. And while recuperating at the hospitals, the stomach needs the right meals to help regain strength. Nutritionists and dietitians help people in this regard by prescribing the right foodstuff to be eaten in the right quantity. These meals are prepared and served to residents by a dietary aide. Through the following paragraphs, you will understand what a dietary aide does and the average pay this job offers.
The dietary aide job description can be summarized in the following points.
- One of the primary dietary aide duties is to understand the instructions of the dietitian clearly, and help patients maintain their nutrition standards.
- He has to respond to patient’s requests.
- He has to cook or assist in the kitchen so that the meals are prepared as per the diet requirements.
- He has to place meals on to the food trays, load them on to the food cart, and deliver them to the right patients.
- He has to monitor the alcohol, cholesterol, and sugar levels in the patients.
- He also has to assume the role of a kitchen aide when necessary, and has to clear the dishes, wash them, and clean the kitchen as well.
- He has to keep a tab of the patient’s medical history, and be alert to see to it that no harmful ingredient finds its way in the meal preparation.
- One of his responsibilities is to oversee the atmosphere of the kitchen―it should be clean and hygienic, and free from infections and pathogens and germs.
- He can even assist the dietitian/nutritionist with research and patient prognosis.
- He has to see that the food that is prepared and served is in compliance with the established safety protocols of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
- He has to assess the recipes according to each patient and even observe them carefully while eating.
- He also has to serve meals in the dining area, if the patient wishes to have his food outside the room. During this period, he has to serve food, refill the plates, prepare beverages if needed, clear up the table, clean the dishes, and sweep and mop the dining area.
- He has to see to it that the vessels are properly sanitized and his own hands are clean and devoid of filth.
- He may also need to engage patients in small talk to distract them from their health problems.
- Ideally, this job does not require a mandatory college degree; for an entry-level, a high school education will suffice.
- If you intend to get into this job with a college education, a bachelor’s degree in health sciences or nutrition studies will do fine.
- You can complete an apprenticeship or a related internship program, after which you will qualify to start working as a dietary aid.
- You can even complete a nutrition assistant certificate program from private centers. This course mostly lasts for a year and will cover subjects, like nutrition, wellness, diet therapy, etc.
- Having a professional certificate will help you get better jobs. Nevertheless, you will receive on-the-job training from your workplace.
- After 450 hours of work, you can even qualify for the DTR (Dietetic Technician, Registered) certification.
The average salary of a dietary aide, according to the state, is enlisted below. It is generally between USD 15,000 to USD 30,000. The hourly wage is mostly between USD 8 to USD 14.
|New Hampshire||USD 22,000|
|New Jersey||USD 25,000|
|New Mexico||USD 20,000|
|New York||USD 28,000|
|North Carolina||USD 22,000|
|North Dakota||USD 20,000|
|Rhode Island||USD 21,000|
|South Carolina||USD 22,000|
|South Dakota||USD 17,000|
|West Virginia||USD 21,000|
Source: Indeed.com as of January 6, 2015. Figures are in US Dollars.
- Many people, however, look upon this job to foray into the medical field, without having to literally know the ins and outs of the same.
- Many dietary aides work in nursing homes, retirement homes, and elderly care facilities; a vast majority work in hospitals as well.
- You will be required to be very alert on the job. While cooking meals, see to it that the atmosphere is clean, while serving, ensure that no dust or dirt particles or flies settle on the food, etc.
- You may have a regular schedule or may work in shifts.
- The demand for good dietary aides is on a decent rise, as help is always required in order to serve the elderly as well as other patients.
- The demand for nutritionists is also high, and consequently, there will be a steady requirement for dietary aides as well.
As a dietary aide, you need to be kind, efficient, and compassionate. Your patience and goodwill will go on the record, and this is essential for your future jobs as well. Of course, with experience, you can take up similar, high-paying jobs while freelancing as a private nutritionist aide. Good luck!