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A Day in the Life of a Dietician

Apr 08, 2010

Thinking of becoming a dietician? This rewarding career lets you take care of people by showing them how to eat well. Discovering what a day as a dietician is like can help you decide if this is the right career to pursue.

Most dieticians work a normal workday, so you can expect to start work at 8 am. You will review your schedule for the day, check any charts that need updating, and get ready to meet your first patient of the day. If you are meeting with a new patient you will take some time to review their medical issues and their diet before making any recommendations.

For each patient you will have to create an entirely customized nutrition plan, although you may have some standard outlines already prepared for certain common afflictions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients may have simple issues that only require that you spend a few minutes outlining what they can’t have, while others may need complete meal plans and recipes.

Patients that you have met before may only need you to review their progress and make changes where necessary. Others may be having difficulty adjusting to their new nutritional restrictions and may need you to make some alternative suggestions. For most of your day you will have to listen to patients about how much they don’t like their new diet, but this is part of your job. You have to keep the patient focused on the progress and the results so they don’t dwell on the negative aspects.

Some other tasks you will have to perform

After each patient you will have to complete your notes on any changes or recommendations you made during your session – for billing purposes as well as in case another dietician takes over the case. Other administrative duties may include creating new diet sheets, following up by phone with other patients, or keeping the office tidy. It all depends on your role, and where you happen to work.

Some dieticians may work with specific groups of people, in which case you may have the same type of patient repeatedly, and less variety on the job. However, in this capacity you can hone your dietician skills to make a real difference. For instance, as a dietician you could work with elderly people who may be dealing with digestion problems and other ailments, or you could work with pregnant women and new moms who need help trying to fit extra nutrition into their diet.

In your schedule, perhaps a few times a month, you will need to make time for continued learning. You may need to attend conferences, read medical papers, or meet with other dieticians to discuss the latest trends. You may need to make time after work or on weekends if you work full time and have a tight schedule.

All in all, being a dietician is busy and rewarding. You get to see the results of your efforts when your patients come back and tell you that they have lost weight and feel better. In some cases you may see drastic changes, or you may help your client find more energy or resolve a lengthy medical issue.

Whether you are looking for a career, or just a career change, you may want to consider becoming a dietician. In just a few years you can be ready to start your interesting new career.

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