|| Job Description/Duties
Summary: Dietitians plan diets for patients and educate
people about eating healthy foods. Some dietitians supervise food
preparation and service.
There are four main areas of work for dietitians. Management
dietitians are in charge of meal planning on a large scale. They
generally work in large hospitals, schools, prisons, and
cafeterias. Management dietitians hire and train new workers. They
also supervise workers who plan, prepare, and serve meals. They
inspect the meals their workers prepare. Dietitians assess that
the proper nutrients are being supplied. In addition, they check
that the food looks and smells good. Their administrative duties
include preparing budgets and purchasing food, equipment, and
supplies. They also prepare records and reports. Management
dietitians check that safety and cleanliness rules are being
followed. Clinical dietitians work in hospitals and nursing homes.
They are in charge of providing foods that provide the correct
nutrients for patients. Dietitians talk to doctors and health care
workers about patients. Based on patients' health and nutritional
information, dietitians develop diets. They check that the diets
are helping patients get better, and may change the diet when
patients are not improving. Dietitians in nursing homes, small
hospitals, and jails or prisons may manage the food service
department. These dietitians have some of the duties of management
dietitians. Community dietitians work with the public as well as
with patients. These dietitians teach classes about diet and
nutrition. They plan, organize, and prepare materials for the
classes. Some classes cover general nutrition in terms of having
good health and preventing disease. Other classes are aimed
towards the elderly, children, or people with special needs.
Dietitians design these classes to cover specific information that
is important to the group. Like clinical dietitians, community
dietitians evaluate patients and design their diets. They may
check that patients are following their diets at home. Community
dietitians work in public health clinics, home health agencies,
and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Consultant dietitians
often run their own business. Like clinical dietitians, they
analyze clients' health and offer diet advice. However, consultant
dietitians tend to work with people who are not patients. Instead
their clients may be healthy or slightly ill and have an interest
in changing their diet. Consultant dietitians may work with
businesses for short periods as advisors. They offer their
knowledge and help businesses make changes or set up new programs.
As more people become interested in nutrition, new jobs are being
created. Some dietitians work in food manufacturing companies
where they analyze food. Other dietitians work in advertising
companies where they prepare information about food. Some
dietitians are researchers. They write grant proposals to request
funding for research. They also plan and conduct research projects
about diet and nutrition. When their research is finished, they
analyze their findings and write reports about the results.
- Talk to doctors or health care workers about patients. Find
out the patients' nutrition needs and dietary limits.
- Write grant proposals to request funding for research or
- Plan and conduct research projects about diet and nutrition.
Analyze findings and write reports about results.
- Analyze the content of food for manufacturers. Prepare
information about food for the public.
- Develop diets for patients based on their nutritional
information and health.
- Teach patients and their families about nutrition, diet, and
- Evaluate how patients respond to their diets. Check that
they are following their diets at home.
- Inspect meals prepared in restaurants, hospitals, or nursing
homes. Check that meals are providing the correct nutrients.
Also check the flavor and appearance of the food.
- Hire and train new workers. Supervise workers who plan,
prepare, and serve meals.
- Prepare budgets and purchase food, equipment, and supplies.
Prepare records and reports.
- Make sure safety and cleanliness rules are being followed.
- Teach classes about diet, nutrition, and food service
management. Plan, organize, and prepare materials for the
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Perform administrative activities.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Analyze data or information.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize.
- Judge the qualities of food and the health of patients.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Develop objectives and strategies.
- Document, record, and process information.
- Identify events, such as how a patient has changed while on
- Implement programs, such as patients' diets.
- Communicate with patients, doctors, and other health care
- Establish and maintain interpersonal relationships.
- Interpret the meaning of information to patients and the
- Teach patients and the public.
- Schedule and coordinate the work and activities of others.
- Assist and care for others.
- Provide advice and consultation to others.