A dietetic technician works with a registered dietitian to plan meals, nutritional programs and diets for clients with special food needs. He or she might also work with a client’s budget to create a meal plan or shopping list. A dietetic technician closely monitors changes in clients’ eating habits and dietary needs. Additionally, dietetic technicians can orchestrate meals for institutions and are responsible for upholding safety standards in the food service industry.
Becoming a dietetic technician requires obtaining at least an associate degree from an accredited university. To become a DTR, or dietetic technician, registered, the individual must also get hands-on training in the industry by participating in 450 hours of supervised work through a dietetic technician program. A test called the Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians must be passed, and 50 hours of continuing education hours must be completed every five years.
Dietetic technicians typically work in either medical careers or food service careers. In a medical career, a dietitian works in a specialized field of nutritional care to ensure that individual clients’ dietary needs are met. This involves studying medical histories and researching nutrition and diet facts to create nutritional programs for clients. Dietetic technicians in the health field often work in hospital settings, and they are responsible for reporting changes in clients’ conditions or food needs to the registered dietitian.
A dietetic technician who works in a food service career is responsible for such tasks as stocking and ordering food supplies, creating budgets, menus and ingredient lists, overseeing food preparation and ensuring that high safety standards are maintained. This type of dietetic technician must be organized, a natural leader and a stickler for routines and safety. They are the ones to speak up and suggest changes when the system is not running as efficiently as it should be. In addition, these dietetic technicians must be good with computers and databases, as these tools are used to monitor and order large quantities of groceries. They usually work in restaurants or cafeterias in a school, college or nursing home.
Health careers and nutritionist programs involving the work of a dietetic technician are expected to grow in years to come because of new food safety laws. Additionally, more of an emphasis is being placed on achieving the highest quality of life through a healthy diet. Dietetic technicians provide the fundamental services upon which a healthy lifestyle is founded. They aim to help clients prevent diseases, make healthy food choices and plan for a well-rounded diet.