Career as a dietitian

Dietitians are the people you consult with when you want to make a lifestyle change to improve your health. These professionals are experts in nutrition and health and will use their knowledge to customize and create a food plan that is best suited for you and your needs. Along with their expansive knowledge in nutrition and food, dietitians need to have certain skills to appropriately address a variety of different situations they can encounter. Here are some of the skills you should and need to have if you wish to have a career as a dietitian.
• Passion and interest in nutrition and science. There is an absorbent amount of information you will need to learn and retain if you wish to become a dietitian. This information will be easier to retain if you are passionate or keenly interested in what you learn. Not only do you need to learn about certain values certain food types have, you need to know and understand how it affects a person’s body. So it is also important you can easily grasp science concepts so you can see the correlation between the two.
• Great communication skills. You will be dealing and creating relationships with people who don’t have the same educational background as you. It is essential you are able to speak to with your clients in a way that allows them to understand the reasons why they are making the changes they are making. Clients who have a better understanding and know why they are doing the things they do have a better chance at maintaining the lifestyle and diet you plan out for them.
• Patience. There are some clients who will be unmotivated or very difficult to deal with. It’s extremely important you are able to take the time and fully address these issues without losing your temper or demeanor. Some clients may have deep underlying psychological issues that can cause them to relapse or not follow the food plan you two discussed together. Instead of getting angry, try to figure out why that it and help motivate them to head towards the right direction.
• Flexibility. There will be times where a client will need to speak and talk to you beyond office hours. You need to be flexible enough to handle that. Unlike dealing with a product or paperwork, dealing with other people will often add an element of unpredictability. So it’s good to be able to think on your toes or find a quick solution for your client in need. Now this doesn’t mean you should work a ridiculous amount of hours, but it should entail that there will be times you won’t be able to work a steady 9 to 5 schedule.
It’s not just about science and nutritional values when it comes being a successful dietitian. You need to have empathy and compassion as well since you will be dealing with people and their issues or relationships when it comes to food. Make sure you develop these skills and traits to have a great career in this field.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
2. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/dietitian.aspx

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