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Details for Dietitians and Nutritionists


Description

Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

Tasks

  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Consult with physicians and health care personnel to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient or client.
  • Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans and diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.
  • Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits, and nutrition monitoring to improve their quality of life.
  • Monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
  • Coordinate recipe development and standardization and develop new menus for independent food service operations.
  • Develop policies for food service or nutritional programs to assist in health promotion and disease control.
  • Inspect meals served for conformance to prescribed diets and standards of palatability and appearance.
  • Develop curriculum and prepare manuals, visual aids, course outlines, and other materials used in teaching.
  • Prepare and administer budgets for food, equipment and supplies.
  • Purchase food in accordance with health and safety codes.
  • Select, train and supervise workers who plan, prepare and serve meals.
  • Manage quantity food service departments or clinical and community nutrition services.
  • Coordinate diet counseling services.
  • Advise food service managers and organizations on sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning to assist with the establishment, operation, and evaluation of food service facilities and nutrition programs.
  • Organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals such as low-fat, low-cholesterol and chemical-free meals.
  • Plan, conduct, and evaluate dietary, nutritional, and epidemiological research.
  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel and the general public.
  • Make recommendations regarding public policy, such as nutrition labeling, food fortification, and nutrition standards for school programs.
  • Write research reports and other publications to document and communicate research findings.
  • Plan and prepare grant proposals to request program funding.
  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Confer with design, building, and equipment personnel to plan for construction and remodeling of food service units.

Interests

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Knowledge

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Financial Resources - Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Related Careers

  • Dietetic Technicians
  • Farm and Home Management Advisors
  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers
  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care Workers
  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers
  • Health Educators
Wages for this career
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