The Role Of Dietitians Within The Nhs
Are you considering a career in Dietetics? Are you interested in finding out what sort of work Dietitian’s do and who they work with within our National Health Service?
First of all it’s important to note that the vast majority of Dietitians employed in the UK work in the NHS. As such if you’re thinking of qualifying as a Dietitian, you will probably want to know the type of work that you will be doing and what career opportunities are open to you.
In essence, Dietitians educate both the public (their patients) and other healthcare professionals on how diet relates to various health issues. As part of your course you will train in both a hospital and a community setting as this will give you the breadth of experience necessary to specialise in a particular area. The main areas in which Dietitian’s operate within the NHS are; Paediatrics (children’s dietary health) Community Dietetics, Geriatrics (the elderly) Oncology (cancer) and Mental Health. It will be your responsibility to provide accurate and impartial dietary advice and to work as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team to ensure the well being of your patients. As one might expect, you will be educating and advising a diverse set of people so it is vital that you feel confident in your skills.
Once you’ve qualified and gained some experience, there is a wealth of opportunity for you to progress your career. You will start as a basic grade Dietitian at Band 5 then you will have the opportunity to progress through to a Dietitian specialist role at Band 6 and then following that, there are more senior and managerial roles available at Band 7. Dietitians who have gained experience in a management role can then apply for positions that will give them responsibility for delivering a wide range of services within an NHS Trust.
If you choose to work as a Dietitian, you will be part of a rapidly growing profession. Whether you are interested in working in hospitals or out in the community for a Primary Care Trust, a Dietitian’s role within the NHS is immensely varied offering a challenging, stimulating and often sociable working environment.
Lexie Hoskins graduated from King’s College, Cambridge in 2006 and currently works as web copywriter.
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