If you are interested in food and healthcare, being a nutritionist would be the best career choice for you. Nutritionists typically run seminars for IVF clinics, maternity hospitals, medical staff, and obstetricians.
They usually conduct training for pharmacy staff about nutrition, write relevant websites, and create magazine articles. It may also be in the duties to manage the company’s website.
You will also place and receive stock orders, follow up with clients, and oversee the general running of the business. You might also be asked to do some research on different ailments and their treatments. Depending on which state you live in, you might be asked for a state license and other certifications before you can begin your career.
Duties and Responsibilities of Nutritionists
You might be wondering where nutritionists work. To begin with, you might land a job in a hospital, a government facility, or a nursing home. Whatever work station you choose, you will be tasked to do the following.
- Carefully assess clients’ health and nutritional needs.
- Teach and counsel patients on different nutritional issues, plus other healthy eating habits.
- Keep and track clients’ records and progress.
- Create healthy food choices for your patients.
- Evaluate the food choices you recommend to your clients and change the meal plans where necessary.
- Conduct seminars and workshops to teach about nutrition, diet, and the benefits of eating healthy foods.
- Develop meal plans, keeping the patients’ budgets in mind.
Eligibility to Become a Nutritionist
Different states have different requirements, but typically you will need to complete a relevant nutrition course with several years of experience.
You might be wondering how much nutritionists earn. Well, pay also depends on the nature of your work and which region you are working in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nutritionists’ median annual wage is $60,370. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $38,460, whereas the top 10 percent highly paid earn more than $84,610.
Skills and Qualities of a Good Nutritionist
To be a functional nutritionist, you must have excellent analytical skills. This is because you must do your extensive research on the latest nutrition trends. You should be able to translate complex scientific studies into practical eating advice.
A good nutritionist must be compassionate, too. You must show care and empathy to your clients who might need advice from you.
You should be a good listener and always attentive. Listen carefully to your clients’ concerns. Where necessary, you might have to collaborate with other healthcare workers to come up with better ideas to improve on the patients’ wellbeing.
You must stay organized all throughout your job. Carefully analyze your clients’ nutritional needs, costs, budget, and how accessible the food is. If you are self-employed, you must be able to schedule appointments on your own, manage clients, keep your patients’ records, and manage all the billing. All these might be a hard nut to crack if you are not organized.
You must also possess problem-solving skills. Clients will come to you with issues; you should be able to evaluate their status and advise them on the most appropriate solution for their condition. Offer advice and always follow up on their progress.
If you are passionate about food and healthcare, being a nutritionist might be the best career choice for you. It requires a decent amount of entrepreneurial skills, organization, and motivation to be good at this job, but in time, you will get the hang of it if you have passion. Check with health facilities near you or collaborate with other nursing homes, and you will be one step closer to a fulfilling career in this health care sector. We wish you the best of luck!