Truthfully, the field of diet and nutrition can cover an extensive array of possibilities for employment. However, within this vast realm of choices, the core value ingrained in every dietitian and nutritionist is to provide the best possible information to the public about what we should eat to fuel our bodies for optimum health. If you’d like to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), you must own an online Bachelor of Nutrition degree, along with, proof of 1,200 hours of internship work under the close supervision of a certified registered dietitian, and then pass the certified board examination. But what if you would like to specialize in a particular aspect of nutrition? Certain age groups? Or, those with a specific illness or disease? Specialized certifications are readily available to help you reach your dream career goals!
The field of dietetics has a variety of concentrations that you can sink your teeth into, without a doubt. In addition to becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist who can accommodate everyone’s needs, you could focus on becoming a pediatric dietitian. In this role, you would work with individuals under the age of 18 and focus on the changing dietary needs of children and teenagers. Pediatric dietitians often plan menus for school cafeterias or children’s hospitals.
If you’re a sports fan, you will know that athletes require a specific diet plan to optimize their performance. As a sports dietitian, you can create special menus for those who are playing, as well as, those who have suffered injuries.
An oncology dietitian becomes an essential healthcare component in the life of a cancer patient. They focus on foods that promote healing, in addition to, diets that help nausea or for those with no appetite at all. Often, they must also work with patients in the end stages of cancer who may need feeding tubes.
Also, many who suffer from chronic kidney disease are required to adjust their nutritional needs. Renal or dialysis dietitians pay close attention to lab test results to create individualized eating plans for their patients due to dialysis, as well as, those with high blood pressure or diabetes. Your online bachelor’s degree program in nutrition will educate you on all types of medical issues and how healthy eating affects their recovery.
Are you interested in meeting the needs of patients within the clinical or hospital setting? If so, you can specialize as a clinical dietitian. In this position, you can create menus specific to patients who have digestive or swallowing issues, or for those who are attempting to lose weight. Each meal should be prepared in a way that is healthy and tastes good, too.
A public health nutritionist is eager to tell the world about the importance of eating healthy; however, most likely, they are hired to improve the overall habits of a community or a specific group. Instead of working with individuals, they address large populations promoting good diet and exercise.
However, if you are interested in spreading the word globally, you can do that as well. Many humanitarian nutritionists travel the world, especially in underdeveloped countries or disaster zones, to evaluate living conditions and the availability of food. They develop programs designed to help villagers or malnourished children regain their strength, as well as, teach them how to grow communal vegetable gardens.
So, where does your interest lie? Do you have a passion for working with children or the elderly? Is there a specific concentration on which you would like to focus? If so, please see our list of the Best Online Schools for Nutrition Degree Programs. Get started today in a rewarding and fulfilling career in dietetics!