Dietetic assistant

Dietetic assistants work with dietitians to help people with their diet and nutrition. They show people how to use feeding tubes or advise on food choices.

This page has information on the role of the dietetic assistant, including entry requirements and skills needed.

Working life

Dietetic assistants work alongside registered dietitians. Dietitians advise on food and nutrition as well as assessing, diagnosing and treating dietary and nutritional problems. They teach and inform the public and health professionals about diet and nutrition.

In hospitals dietetic assistants may:

Dietetic assistants work with individuals and communities. They work with both healthy and sick people. A dietetic assistant could, for example, work with people who:

Dietetic assistants work in hospitals, clinics and in the community. They may visit patients in their homes or in residential or care homes if patients cannot travel. Dietetic assistants may visit schools, nurseries and other community settings to talk to individuals and groups about diet and nutrition. As well as working closely with dietitians, dietetic assistants work with other healthcare professionals including nurses. They have a lot of contact with patients.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for dietetic assistants. Employers expect good numeracy and literacy and some experience or qualifications in health or social care. Employers may ask for GCSEs in English and maths. Science may also be useful. Employers may ask for an NVQ, BTEC or equivalent qualification in health and social care or healthcare.

Employers often ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, either in paid employment or voluntary work.

Skills and personal characteristics needed

To be a dietetic assistant, you'll need

You'll also need

Training and development

You will receive appropriate training in order to do the job. This includes an introduction to the department, how to use the equipment and the procedures to follow. You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as:

The BDA runs courses, conferences and seminars where dietetic assistants can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.

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