Dietitians and Nutritionists
Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They promote good health and prevent and treat illnesses by recommending healthy eating habits and dietary modifications. They also supervise the preparation and service of food, develop modified diets, participate in research, and educate individuals and groups on good nutritional habits.
The majority of dietitians are clinical or therapeutic, dietitians. Clinical dietitians work in hospitals to provide medical nutrition therapy and individual inpatient and outpatient dietary consultations. They also conduct group education for other health workers, patients and the public. Clinical dietitians work as a team with the physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers and nurses to provide care to the patients.
Community dietitians apply and distribute knowledge about food and nutrition to specific geographic areas. They coordinate nutritional programs in public health agencies, daycare centers, health clubs, and recreational camps and resorts. Some community dietitians carry out clinical based patient care in the form of home visits for patients who are too ill to physically attend consultation in health facilities. Food service dietitians or managers are responsible for large-scale food planning and service. They coordinate, assess, and plan food service processes in health care facilities, school food service programs, prisons, cafeterias, and restaurants.
There are a few different academic routes to becoming a fully qualified registrable Dietitian: a professional undergraduate Bachelor degree in Dietetics or a Bachelor of Science degree and a Postgraduate diploma in Dietetics or a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters in Dietetics. Besides academic education, registered dietitians must complete a year long internship before they can sit for the registration examination.
Dietary Assistants or Dietary Aides
Dietary Assistants or Dietary Aides are responsible for assisting and carrying out the medical nutrition therapy prescribed by Dietitians. They ensure that food preparation for the patients, as instructed by the Dietitians, is carried out correctly. They do this by checking menus against recent diet orders and being physically present in the kitchen at meal hours. Dietary aides in some countries might also carry out a simple initial health screening for newly admitted patients.