10 things you probably didn’t know dietitians get involved in

In honour of dietitians week here is another 10 things post…  Dietitians are well-known as the gold standard for nutrition advice but our roles involve so much more than that. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know we do:

  1. Cognitive behavioural therapy – our training provides us with behaviour change skills including CBT.
  2. Prescribing – previously only the role of doctors, some specialist dietitians prescribe nutrition related medication and products
  3. Placing enteral feeding tubes – some community home enteral feeding dietitians take on extra training to be able to place and replace these tubes for patients who aren’t able to eat
  4. Writing – books, magazine articles, recipes, blogs – many dietitians dabble in a bit of writing, some make a successful career out of it
  5. Sales and marketing – I often see our traditional clinical roles as being sales people for healthy eating, and some dietitians branch out from clinical work to posts in medical nutrition or food companies
  6. Product development – many food manufacturers and supermarkets employ dietitians to develop, analyse and test out new products
  7. Lobbying and advising government – dietitians have worked with policy makers for as long as the profession has existed ie for more than 80 years
  8. Educators – almost every facet of our roles involves eduction – whether one to one with a patient – teaching them about how their health can be aided by diet, providing regular updates to doctors, nurses and other professionals or training up student dietitians as a practice educator or lecturer
  9. Safeguarding children and adults – as health professionals we are sometimes the first to notice and report vulnerable individuals at risk of harm and may often be involved difficult cases of neglect and abuse – our roles may be supporting families to overcome these problems or advising social workers and police when to act if situations don’t improve
  10. Cooking classes and demos – some dietitians are lucky enough to have this as part of their day-to-day job – whether it’s cook and eat sessions in  community centres, smoothie making in schools, or helping an élite athlete learn some new recipes to meet their nutrition goals to aid their performance

And I could keep going – there are so many options – it’s a widely diverse profession!