Dietitians are registered and regulated by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level.
The dietitians at SASH see inpatients and outpatients from a range of specialities including paediatrics, surgery, gastroenterology, stroke and intensive care.
A typical day for a SASH adult inpatient dietitian starts at 8am. We start by checking emails, new referrals and patient caseloads. We have a morning huddle in which we discuss our workload for the day, helping each other out where needed. After this we will attend the wards and review patient notes, using an ABCD format to assess anthropometry (weight, BMI etc.), biochemistry, clinical and dietary factors. We make a holistic plan with the patient and counsel them on appropriate dietary advice, reviewing progress of previous plans where required.
Registered dietitians can work in a variety of settings including NHS, community, inpatient, outpatient, GP surgeries, public health, lecturing at universities and freelance. Most dietitians will work in the NHS for a period of time after qualifying. Some will move into more specialist areas, such as research, media or sports. Others will develop their clinical skills, for example specialising in oncology or bariatrics. Others will take a managerial path, developing teams and supporting other junior dietitians.
Why I chose to be a dietitian:
I became a dietitian because I’ve always been interested in food and the role it can play in health and disease. I wanted a job where I could make a difference and improve patients’ health and wellbeing. I also wanted to be on my feet interacting with people, rather than sitting behind a desk in an office. After speaking with school teachers, family, friends and doing work experience shadowing dietitians, I realised a dietitian was the career path for me.