When it comes to getting a job with an online degree, online nutrition degrees prepare you for many job opportunities in a variety of settings. Read more to learn about the possibilities.
When I was pregnant, my first visit to the hospital was not because I was having labor pains. It was to meet with a nutritionist. As part of routine pregnancy testing, it was determined that I had gestational diabetes a condition that can be controlled through medication, diet restrictions, or both. My doctor and I decided that we would try to control the situation through diet. Although I thought I knew a lot about nutrition, through my meeting with the nutritionist I learned so much more. She gave me meal suggestions and taught me about blood sugar, protein, and carbohydrates in a way I had never thought of before.
As a nutritionist, you can impact the life of an individual like me, a group of patients, or an entire community.
Who Are Nutritionists?
Becoming a hospital nutritionist is just one option for those pursuing online nutrition degrees. There are many other options as well. The United States Department of Labor classifies nutritionists in the following four categories:
· Clinical Dietician
· Community Dietician
· Management Dietician
· Consultant Dietician
Hospitals often hire nutritionists that are categorized as clinical dieticians. Hospitals are a big employer of nutritionists and the number will only grow as the population ages and these institutions grow. Since hospitals house so many people at any given time, and most of the patients have unique dietary requirements for the duration of their stay, nutritionists are needed to evaluate the patients needs and plan their meals.
But hospitals are not the only places that hire these nutritionists. You can find clinical dieticians in private practice, doctors offices, and nursing care facilities.
Community dieticians educate and assist the public in nutrition management. They are often employed by public health departments, clinics, home care agencies, or health maintenance agencies.
Management dieticians oversee the meal planning and preparation for large institutions such as multi-cafeteria universities and school systems, prisons, and cafeteria chains such as those available within office buildings.
Consultant Dieticians work in private practice and are hired on a contractual basis to assess nutrition needs of individual patients. They can be hired by hospital systems or individual patients. Wellness facilities such as gyms or swim clubs may have a particular consultant dietician available as part of the staff or on a referral basis.
In Addition to the Degree
To qualify for any of the positions above, you will need to obtain at least a bachelors degree in nutrition. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) accredits schools that offer a quality education and that fulfill its rigorous standards. Check with the ADA, before you register for classes, to make sure that the institution you are going to is accredited.
In addition to your degree, most states require a license, certificate, or that you become registered. Each state governs its own licensing/certification process. Check with your states department of labor to learn about its specific requirements.
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