So let me start by saying “hi” since I’ve definitely slacked recently on my blogging I thought a hello might been in order.
Secondly Happy RD (Registered Dietitian) Day to all of you smart, and wonderful RD’s!!
I’ve never been quiet on this blog on my feelings that Dietitians are THE (only) nutritional professionals. I’ve also been pretty clear on the amount of schooling and continuing education required to be a Dietitian, and maintain that credential. So on those two topics I will not repeat myself!
I have he pleasure of knowing dietitians who work in almost every possible realm of nutrition. Which even though I do not- that brings me an immense amount of pride in being a part of such a diverse profession.
So let me take the time to highlight some areas that Dietitians work in that you may find surprising, or interesting, or gives you a new found respect and appreciation for them.
- Dietitians (RDs) work in schools, to not only plan menus and order food, but to educate kiddos on why foods they are being served are important, and depending on the setting are there to work with kids and families, and address everything from nutritional adequacy to allergens, to the actual food ordering and service – depending on the specific facility
- RDs can work for college sports teams and professional teams to ensure athletes are being nourished adequately for the amount of time they spent expending energy
- RDs can work in clinical settings – that I think is obvious to most but did you know
- RDs are (almost always) the ones determining the type of tubefeeding, the prescription for a tubefeeding, and its adjustment for patients who require tubefeeding. This is also the case for TPN or PPN or parenteral nutrition or rather “iv nutrition”. Guys if that doesn’t sound like a BFD it totally – that is a hella lot of math, and a lot of variables they need to consider. Yes it’s under the supervision of a doctor- but let’s be clear they are doing most of the work.
- RDs work in almost every dialysis center- a diet for someone on dialysis is an extremely complicated diet, because it is typically a combo of different diets, and typically requires adjustment based on monthly labs.
- RDs can even elect to learn more about diabetes, earn their CDE credential, and learn to determine someone’s insulin needs for injections or a pump, and in many cases responsible for managing these patients’ blood sugar patterns and making diet and /or insulin adjustments based off of that. Again under the supervision of a doctor- but again in most cases – RDs make the Recs, docs sign off.
- RDs who work in food-service consider way more than the temperature of your food. They typically design entire menus, taking into account what foods are seasonal, what colors will be on the plate, and how many different specialty diets can be accommodated by one entree option.
- RDs work in colleges and universities, they work tirelessly to shape curriculum, and future generations of this profession
- RDs work in health centers, and state, and city funded programs – i.e. WIC, to help those who have limited resources ensure that they are making
- RDs sometimes go into sales, they take the experience and education they have and apply it to working in either pharmaceuticals and/or nutrition products to help other Healthcare Providers make better decision for their patients
- RDs work in Long Term care facilities, sometimes in the capacity as the clinical dietitian, sometimes as the Food Service Director, and sometimes as both
- RDs work in the food industry, and analyze food components and ingredients for labeling, food claims, and also consider things like taste and color
- By the way, there are many dietitians who wear multiple hats, and their jobs are a combination of these bullet points
Dietitians do so many different things that I have run out of bullet points in this post to talk about all of the amazing things we do!
We are educators, we are cheerleaders, we are sometimes drill sergeants (to both patients and doctors), we nourish, we promote, (we LOVE FOOD), we help. We do more than just tell people to eat vegetables, (although we like that), and we are NOT the food police.
I certainly hope my fellow RDs don’t mind me speaking on their behalf.
So even though March 9 was National Dietitian Day, and all of March is National Nutrition Month- Dietitians make every day a great day, they are typically the “man (well mostly women) behind the curtain” (see Wizard of Oz), they do a lot behind the scenes, I know RDs who are also Nurses and Doctors, or working to become both, and in my experience RDs never just wear “one hat”.
So this is my shout-out to all of the wonderful women, and men that I have known as classmates, colleagues, coworkers, and teachers.