It’s the most important week of the year – Dietitians Week ;) Just kidding, holidays that involve chocolate are more important, obviously.
I’ve only been practicing as a dietitian for 2 and a half years now but I can honestly say that I’ve never had a conversation that went like this:
Them: “What do you do?”
Me: “I’m a dietitian”
Them: “Oh okay. Anyway…”
People are always interested in what a dietitian does and what they have to say. The most typical responses I get are:
“I need to come see you, I need to lose weight”
“So what do you think of Tim Noakes?”
“Please don’t watch what I eat”
(I’m sure my fellow RD’s can relate)
Currently, I work in paediatrics. When I mention this people usually ask:
“So you help kids lose weight?” No…
Dietitian does not = weight loss
While there are many dietitians who are passionate about helping people lose weight and get healthy (and doing an excellent job of it), unfortunately I am not one of them. Believe it or not, most of my time is spent helping people (kids) gain weight.
A typical day is spent in hospital calculating requirements and prescribing feeds for premature babies who are sometimes 800g or even smaller, or children who are malnourished or who have any other nutrition-related condition. I love it when these little humans are big and well enough to go home, to me it’s the most rewarding job in the world.
That’s probably the broadest and most general description I could give but the point is, there’s more to being a dietitian than what you thought (I’m generalizing here, excuse me :)) To be honest, when I decided to become a dietitian it was so that I could sit behind a desk and tell people what to eat, I thoughts that’s what dietitians do. As a student I fell in love with the clinical and community side of dietetics.
A well-known professor recently said that Dietetics is a dying profession. I may be a bit biased but I’d have to disagree. I think we’re just getting started. People are starting to realize that nutrition literally affects everyone and food is medicine.
I could carry on for days, people who know me have probably experienced this. I am truly passionate about what I do, and can’t imagine spending my days doing anything else!
To all the dietitians – happy Dietitians Week :)
Health and happiness :)