I have had a bit of time out of the office this week and it has come to my attention that not many people outside of health care have any idea what I actually do as a Dietitian.
So here is a bit of Q&A!
Feel free to ask any other questions you may have!
1. What is a Dietitian?
As a Dietitian I am a qualified health care professional. I am qualified to assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems.
Dietitians work in many areas but in summary we work to promote nutritional wellbeing e.g. encourage healthy food choices and use nutritional therapy to treat disease e.g. obesity, diabetes, food allergy and prevent nutrition related problems e.g. vitamin and mineral deficiency.
You know you can ‘Trust a Dietitian’ to provide advice that is safe, evidence based and tailored to a person’s needs.
2. What does a Dietitian actually do?
I am a Freelance Dietitian which means I work in Private Practice. I see people in my clinic or I offer home visits. I also do training in a group setting.
Here are just a few examples of people I see in clinic or in their own homes:
Children & Adults with food allergies; babies with cow’s milk protein allergy and sometimes multiple food allergies, mother’s who are breastfeeding and trying to manage their own and their babies food allergies, older children and adults with single or multiple food allergies. My role is to help each person to identify the exact trigger for any symptoms and once this is identified I work with them to adapt their diet. We take out the foods they are reacting and I provide advice on appropriate alternatives to ensure their diet is nutritionally adequate.
Children & Adults with brain injuries and complex medical needs. The brain requires a huge amount of energy to function and after a brain injury good nutrition is vital to aid recovery. I work with each person, their families and often support teams to devise tailor made dietary plans that fit in with their capabilities, their home environment and daily routines.
Children & Adults with gastrointestinal disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I work with each person to identify where they are on their journey with their condition, what they have tried so far and we explore the options available together.
Older adults who are unwell, often with multiple medical conditions. I help translate some of the complicated medical terminology into understandable and practical advice. I work with each person to provide guidance on any dietary adaptations that are needed to help manage long term conditions taking into account their home circumstances.
2. What training do Dietitians have?
Dietitians are trained to degree level. I went to the University of Nottingham and my course was 4 years and included 26 weeks of clinical placement in a hospital.
3. Can anyone call themselves a Dietitian?
In short, No!
The title ‘Dietitian’ is protected and you can only practice as a Dietitian if you are registered with the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council). Once successfully graduating you apply to the HCPC for registration and this registration is renewed every 2 years.
The HCPC have a professional code of conduct and it is required that you maintain continuous professional development to stay registered.
No other nutrition related practitioners are required to be registered or regulated.
4. How can I see a Dietitian?
Many Dietitians work in the NHS and you can request to be referred by your GP or hospital Consultant if you have one.
Or you can come and see me or my colleague Lynda at Sunlight Nutrition Limited!
We are based just outside Worksop in North Nottinghamshire.
For more information feel free to call us on 07414 641026 or 01909 730248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org