what does a dietetic technician do

What does a Dietetic Technician do?

If you are interested in health, wellness, nutrition, and educating people, you may enjoy a career as a dietetic technician. Dietetic technicians assist dietitians in a variety of ways to include planning and creating meals for clients, teaching people about nutrition, and assisting with any nutritional program a dietician may be running. Dietetic technicians may also be called diet assistants, dietary aide, or dietary manager.

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How to Become a Dietetic Technician

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that nutrition and dietetic technicians, or registered (NDTRs), must complete a nutrition and dietetic technician program by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You’ll need to have accomplished a two-year associates degree from an accredited university and complete their program in order to gain the registered credential. Some dietetic technicians use this profession as a stepping stone on their way to becoming a dietician.

Job Description of a Dietetic Technician

Dietetic technicians assist registered dietitians in locations such as hospitals, nursing homes or assisted living facilities, and schools. While they may plan and prepare meals for clients, they may also be expected to help educate clients on nutrition, meal planning, and preparation as well. When necessary, they may assist the dietician by observing a patient’s food intake and report any problems they observe.

The U.S. Army Medical Command posted the following responsibilities when seeking dietetic technician applicants on USA.gov:

  • Provide diet counseling and instructions to include all nutrition related diagnosis appropriate for Diet Technician Registered.
  • Conduct nutrition and diet education classes for patients.
  • Perform a variety of clerical and technical duties in support of Clinical Dietitians for patients of all ages.
  • Maintain patient education material inventory and coordinates purchase of additional items.
  • Review diet records and helps patients to identify problems areas and make adjustments as needed.
  • Collect, analyzes, and summarizes data and trends relevant to Clinical Dietetics performance indicators as part of the NCC Performance Improvement Program.
  • Check in walk-in and scheduled patients and book initial and follow-up appointments for referred patients.

This position was posted to run 08/01/2018 to 08/15/2018 with a salary range of $33,394 to $53,773 per year on USAjobs.gov. USAjobs.gov is part of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Dietetic Technician Career Video Transcript

There’s an expression – “you are what you eat.” And that’s certainly true when it comes to good nutrition. Dietetic technicians help patients understand the important connection between food and health. Under a dietitian’s supervision, they assist with food service and nutritional programs. They plan menus and prepare meals following nutritional standards and recipes that ensure patients’ individual needs are met.

Dietetic technicians observe and gather information from a patient, so a registered dietitian or doctor can determine the patient’s needs. They also counsel people about the food choices they should make to prevent or manage disease, such as cutting back on sugar for patients with diabetes. Most work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities; or for state and local government. In all settings, dietetic technicians follow guidelines established by the government and medical experts.

Most employers prefer candidates with an associate’s degree from an accredited dietetics or nutrition program, though qualifications may vary. While everybody needs to eat, dietetic technicians help those with special nutritional requirements to improve their health through informed choices.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dietetic Technicians.

National Center for O*NET Development. 29-2051.00. O*NET OnLine.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered Fact Sheet. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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