Dietitian Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Dietitian, or Dietetic Technician is a qualified health professional who assesses, diagnoses and treats nutritional and dietary issues. Their duties include identifying nutrition problems, counselling patients and developing effective diet plans.


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Dietitian duties and responsibilities

The duties of Dietitians vary depending on various factors. These professionals work in many different environments and in various capacities. Their duties may range from assisting hospital catering services to creating menus for patients to advising the food industry to setting up clinical trials. Generally, their  daily activities include:

  • Advising on and influencing food and health policies
  • Providing training and guidance for junior dietetic colleagues
  • Educating other healthcare professionals on nutrition and diet
  • Writing detailed case notes and reports 
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of assessments and interventions
  • Monitoring patients’ progress and adjusting diet plans as necessary
  • Staying up to date regarding the latest developments and research in nutrition
  • Promoting healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices through workshops, reading materials and community engagement


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Dietitian Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Please note this is a part time post and the salary for this position will be pro-rata. Please note this is a fixed term post until 31 May 2022 This is an exciting opportunity to gain experience in a clinical lead role within the field of enteral feeding. The post holder would be responsible for the overseeing of best practice within this field by linking in with the patient population and other key stakeholders. The role would also have a clinical remit within enteral feeding. The post may suit candidates with previous experience in this area of or an associated field. It may also be seen as a secondment opportunity although we would ask candidates seek the agreement of any existing employer before applying under the terms of secondment. To practice at an autonomous level, and provide highly specialist Dietetic input within NHS Lanarkshire’s Nutrition and Dietetic team, undertaking highly specialist service developments and influencing local and National policy. To act as a Dietetic expert providing a highly specialised service and advice to dietitians and other health professionals locally and nationally. To provide leadership and support to senior and junior Dietetic staff within the overall service. Utilise highly specialist and advanced skills to manage a caseload of patients with highly complex needs, using evidence based /patient centred principles to assess, plan, implement and evaluate interventions in both hospital and/or community settings. To work under the support, guidance and direction of the Dietetic professional lead undertaking specialist service developments, leadership tasks and management duties as required. Be responsible for practice education of Dietetic students on placement within the service area. Undertake research within specialty and design audit tools to assist this process. This post offers the postholder an opportunity to join in the delivery and further development of an effective Dietetic specialist service within NHS Lanarkshire. In particular, the post holder will be involved directly in the review of current structured education programmes and the development of new programmes as required Registered Dietitian with valid HCPC Registration Educated to/working at Masters Level Post graduate expertise within speciality / area of practice that demonstrates the required breadth of knowledge required to lead safety, effectively and efficiently. Comprehensive knowledge of clinical guidelines and standards within the speciality Informal enquiries regarding the post will be welcomed by Deborah Barrowman, Clinical Lead Enteral Feeding, on 01698 754800. If you have any queries regarding the application form or recruitment process, please contact Elaine McInally, Recruitment Administrator, on 01698 754338. Please note: we anticipate a high level of interest in this position and may close the advert once a sufficient amount of applications are received. Therefore, please make sure you complete and submit your application at an early stage. Whilst this advertisement may be for a specific post(s) in a particular location, applicants who are shortlisted for interview may be considered for similar vacancies in alternative locations.

Example 2

NHS Lothian is committed to encouraging equality and diversity among our workforce, and eliminating unlawful discrimination. The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best. To this end, NHS Lothian welcomes applications from all sections of society. ***Please NOTE: We cannot accept late applications so please ensure your application is submitted early*** Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership Hosted service Woodlands House, Astley Ainslie Hospital Dietitian Fixed Term/ to 31st March 2022 1 Full Time Position Available Band 5 37.5 (1.0wte) £ 25,351 – £ 31,966 We are delighted to offer this fixed term position within the NHS Lothian Weight Management Service. This post will support outpatient clinics and groups, working as part of our multidisciplinary team alongside specialist dietitians, who will provide training and supervision. Responding to the COVID-19 situation, the majority of patient interventions are currently virtual, using video based platforms, with only some face to face clinical work. The post holder will have an opportunity to provide a service to patients who live throughout the Lothian area. It is an exciting opportunity for a dietitian with a keen interest in weight management and Type 2 Diabetes prevention to become valued members of a wide MDT. This post is fixed term to the end of March 2022. We are strongly committed to training and support for CPD and clinical governance, with a supervision framework, annual appraisals, peer support and training opportunities to further develop clinical skills. We would welcome applications from either newly qualified dietitians who are keen to get their career started, or from dietitians who already have some professional experience but would like to further progress their career as part of our skilled and dedicated team. This post is also open to dietitians who will be HCPC registered by 26th July 2021. For further information on what is included in the role and what skills/experience are being looked for, click on the links at the bottom of the screen to the job description and person specification. If after reading this information you have any questions, please contact; Audrey McGregor or Hayley Cummings, Team Leads, Weight Management: 0[phone number] Audrey.mcgregor@[website]

Example 3

Shared Health Foundation are growing their dietetic team who are working across Central and South Manchester. *Background* Shared Health Foundation is Community Interest Company whose primary aim is to reduce the impact poverty has on health. We work across Greater Manchester, particularly where there is high deprivation. Together with individuals, communities, health professionals, voluntary sector and business partners Shared Health Foundation encourages a community-based approach, empowering individuals to take responsibility for their own health. We are working with a local Primary Care Network; a group of GP practices working across Central Manchester. Primary care networks think about the wider health of their population, taking a proactive approach to managing population health. By better understanding their wider communities, Primary Care Networks are able to focus on tackling health inequalities seen and identify those who would benefit from targeted, proactive support. Together we are providing a unique opportunity to help shape a community-based dietetic service which best meets the needs of the community it serves. You will be responsible both for developing and delivering this service. *CORE Purpose* Co-ordinate and deliver bespoke community-based dietetic programmes, with a focus on outreach dietetics for marginalised groups. This role is one of an expert, innovative practitioner who works autonomously, but also involves liaison with other professionals, both in primary care and relevant community services. *JOB Summary* · Develop a programme of community dietetic support which meets the unique and diverse needs of service-users from across the Primary Care Network. · Deliver community dietetic services in a variety of settings, including but not limited to: community clinics, GP surgeries, patient’s own-homes, and group settings. · Work with local VCSEs and faith sector organisations who are engaging population groups who could benefit from dietetic support. *KEY Responsibilities* · Act as a PCN, departmental and organisational resource of expertise in dietetic/nutritional advice. · Develop and sustain excellent working relationships with the practice teams within the PCN, working in a way that is collaborative and informed. · Plan, adapt and develop the dietetic service to deliver interventions which best meet the needs of the cohort you are supporting. · Work with community services and assets to deliver a strengths-based, community-led approach. · Utilising specialist dietetic skills and knowledge to assess, plan, implement treatment and deliver dietetic interventions. · Support the development of junior members of the team through education and advice. · Contribute to the delivery of clinical supervision, training and mentoring of wider dietetic team, students and members of the wider MDT. *Strengths* *Required BY THE ROLE* · Passionate about working with communities and tackling inequalities in health · Be adaptable and flexible; recognising ways of working will need to change over time to best meet the needs of the cohort · Get excited about new challenges and innovative ways of working · Be risk conscious and boundaried, but not risk averse, supporting team members to manage complexity and uncertainty in their work. Shared Health will support your ongoing development through clinical supervision and CPD opportunities and promote further training and/or research interests. If you have any questions or wish to discuss this role further, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Reference ID: SHFCD21 Part-time hours: 37.5 per week Application deadline: 05/07/2021 Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Contract, Permanent Salary: £33,779.00-£44,503.00 per year Benefits: * Flexible schedule * Sick pay Schedule: * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: Covid-secure working environment and PPE provided, where necessary. * HCPC Registration (preferred) Work remotely: * No

What does a Dietitian do?

Dietitians assist people in making more healthy lifestyle and dietary choices. Through their work, these professionals raise awareness of the direct link between nutrition and health. Dietitians work in a variety of environments, such as hospitals, health centres, research facilities, community and outpatient settings. They often collaborate with other medical professionals like Clinical Specialist Nurses, Psychologists and Surgeons to provide effective treatment for a wide range of conditions. These include diabetes, food allergies, eating disorders, malnutrition, IBS and mental health disorders. They also work with Athletes, advising them on how diet can improve their performance.


Dietitian skills and qualifications

The job of a Dietitian involves working with people throughout their working day, they therefore need excellent interpersonal and communication skills to successfully interact with clients, medical professionals and other stakeholders. Apart from actively listening to relevant parties, they must be able to effectively relay information. A successful Dietitian candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include: 

  • Excellent organisational skills to balance the developmental aspect of the role with the clinical demands
  • The ability to cope well under pressure and remain calm in crisis situations
  • A willingness to remain current on new developments in the field
  • A compassionate nature and a genuine interest in improving people’s lives
  • Computer literacy and knowledge of relevant software programs, including Word and Excel
  • The ability to do effective presentations and confidently speak in public


Dietitian experience requirements

The level and type of experience a Dietitian requires is dependent on the position and area of specialisation. Candidates who are applying for a primary care position, for instance, may need to show clinical experience in tube feeding. Conversely, positions that involve working with children will likely require experience in paediatric dietetics. Applicants who are applying for a position as a Diabetes Dietitian will typically need to show knowledge of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


Dietitian education and training requirements

Candidates will need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). In order to do so, they need to complete a degree in dietetics or human nutrition. Those who hold a degree in a relevant field can qualify for the profession by obtaining a postgraduate diploma or degree in dietetics. Candidates also need to pass enhanced background checks, as they often work with children and vulnerable people.


Dietitian salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Dietitian in the UK is £32,882 per year. Salaries vary, depending on factors like location, level of experience and employer.


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Dietitian job description FAQs


What are the hours of a Dietitian?

Dietitians typically have a normal Monday-to-Friday, 40-hour work schedule. Depending on their position, however, Dietitians may at times need to schedule their time around the needs of their clients. Some overtime, including working on evenings and over weekends, may be necessary.


What's the difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?

Dietitians are registered professionals who are qualified to treat a range of medical conditions and eating disorders. Nutritionists are not registered professionals. Their job typically involves assisting individuals in achieving their health and dietary goals.


What are the different types of Dietitians?

Dietitians can specialise in a variety of fields. Different types of Dietitians include Clinical, Food Service, Community, Gerontological, Neonatal, Paediatric and Research Dietitians.


What makes a good Dietitian job description?

To ensure that you attract suitable applicants, include the necessary detail in the job description. You can specify an area of specialisation, such as gastroenterology. Include relevant experience requirements like experience in treating patients with digestive problems. Lastly, mention additional requirements, such as a valid driver’s licence or a flexible work schedule.

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