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Dietitians use an evidence based approach, translating complex nutritional science into practical advice of food and nutrition to improve the health of people.
A Clinical Dietitian develops nutritional guidelines, therapeutic menus and provides nutrition support for patients based on their illness, physical condition and necessary dietary restrictions. Clinical Dietitians consult with Physicians and Nurses and other Allied Health Professionals with regard to an individual’s care. They teach patients and their families about sound nutritional principles, and selecting and preparing food appropriate to their individual needs. Making accurate chart notes and keeping dietary histories for each patient is an important aspect of this job.
A Public Health Dietitian or Community Dietitian uses a population Health approach to provide nutrition advice to people. They assess the needs of a community, develop a program to address this and then implement the program to achieve improvement in the nutritional status of the community, through encouraging better health, better food choices and better nutrition.
Dietitians must hold tertiary qualifications recognised by the Dietitians Association of Australia, which can be either an undergraduate course in Nutrition and Dietetics or completion of a postgraduate course in Nutrition and Dietetics.