What Should Anyone Considering Studying Nutrition Know?
More Answers From Holistic Nutrition Professionals
Host Question: What is something every person considering studying nutrition should know about the career before they make that choice.
Answer: So you’ll have to make that choice when you are in college knowing, do I like science? Am I good at these science classes? Because you don’t have to get straight A’s in these science classes, but you do have to do pretty well because it’s competitive to get into an internship. Next, you’re going to want to think about what job you want outside of it. So the number one is going to be clinical. That’s where most of the jobs are going to be. Don’t have to do clinical, but that’s going to be the easiest one to get because at the very least, your internship is going to be in a clinical setting. And then the next thing you’re probably going to want to ask yourself after that is where do I see myself going in nutrition? There’s going to be a few different fields as a dietitian that most of us go into. Number one is clinical. Number two is going to be food service. Number 3 is going to be public health. So it’s going to be nutrition, education, stuff like that. And then number 4 is going to be research, but that’s going to be the smallest one.
Answer: If you do end up getting the RD credential, you have a way wider variety of career opportunities open to you. You are limited, however, when you counsel across state lines. So that’s something I didn’t know. And especially with tele-health. Now in this post-covid universe, we’re all doing tele-health. That wasn’t really a thing when I started. Now, as a dietitian, if you are credentialed as a dietitian, you are limited to counseling patients who live in states that you’re licensed in. So I live in Arizona. If I wanted to counsel a patient in Nevada and we would do that over a Zoom or something, I would need to be licensed in Nevada.
Answer: You don’t have to do what you think you have to do. I think a lot of people, especially like dietitians, go into school thinking, all right, I’m going to get my degree and get my RD exam I’m going to have to work in clinical for a couple of years and then I’ll figure out what I want to do. But that’s not the case. Like, you don’t have to follow that path. There are so many different areas in nutrition and I think a lot of times we hold the standard of like, well, if you haven’t done clinical, you don’t have the right background, you haven’t done the dirty work of being a dietitian yet. But that’s not the case at all going into nutrition in the career. Like, don’t waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. Take that time to really learn the different areas of nutrition that make you feel excited and make you feel passionate. And luckily we get to do that during our rotations and practice in so many different areas. Take that time to realize like what I actually like to do here, what’s my favorite part of this? Because it’s different for everyone, but if you’re able to dig in to that, then you can go on that path and follow that for the rest of your career. And it might change, too.
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