Dietetic technicians usually work under the supervision of a dietitian. They serve in two areas: as service personnel in food service administration and as assistants in the nutrition care of individuals. Food service administration specialists study patients' records to ensure that changes in diets ordered by dietitians and needs of new patients are met. They also develop standardized recipes and train other food service personnel. They often supervise food service workers who prepare meals in hospitals, schools or other facilities and oversee the production of food on a day-to-day basis. Dietetic technicians, who specialize in nutrition care and counseling, work under the direction of a clinical or community dietitian. In a health care facility they may observe and interview patients about their eating habits and food preferences so that a dietitian can plan for the patients' care. They may also supervise the serving of food to ensure that meals are meeting the patients' needs. At public health agencies, they develop and teach nutrition classes to the public.
Dietetic technicians need a good background in science. Most health care employers prefer dietetic technicians to be registered by the American Dietetic Association. This requires an Associate degree in the field of dietetics, supervised experience in community programs, healthcare or food service facilities, and passing the National Dietetic Technician exam. Some employers hire non-registered dietetic technicians who have some college education and/or related experience.
Links to Additional Career Information
California Dietetic Association (310) 822-0177 www.dietitian.org
American Dietetic Association (800) 877-1600 ext.5400 www.eatright.org
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