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Current Issues in the field of Dietetic Technicians
I extremely enjoy cooking and being with and helping people make the right choices in life. At first I considered being a chef because this would let me work with people and food but it would not be helping people make healthy lifestyle choices. I started to think about my career choices. I was talking with Lynn Rinderly one day and she said “I love nutrition and how it affects the body.” Rinderle is a Dietetic Technician. “A Dietetic Technician assists dietitians in evaluating, organizing, and conducting nutrition services and programs for schools hospitals and Industry according to Health Career Information. “Dietetic Technicians work with and under the supervision of a registered Dietitian… dietetic technicians may specialize in a particular area such as Nutritional care or food service management. Nutritional care technicians determine the nutritional needs of their patients by interviewing them and reviewing their medical histories. They help patients plan meals that fit into their prescribed diet and food budget. They also report patient’s progress or any dietary problem to the supervising dietitian (M.S. Health careers).” I thought about how much she said she enjoyed her job. I started thinking maybe this was the job for me. Other job titles for this occupation are: Diet Tech. Dietary aide…Diet Clerk, Diet Technician Registered (DTR), Certified Dietary Manager (CDM), Dietary Manager, Nutrition Technician, Clinical Dietary Technician (O*net online). In the area of Dietetic Technicians there are three major activities that concern me: education, job expectations, job availability; I hope to learn more about these and overcome them.
The first area I looked into was to see if I had taken the right classes so far in high school and what classes I could take yet, or if I was going to need to take courses in college. Students wanting to become dietetic technicians should graduate from high school with a well-rounded program; high school business may prove helpful (M.S. Health careers). Students interested in a career as a dietetic technician should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, algebra, home economics, english, business, health occupations/ medical professions education, physical education, psychology, and computer skills, (Health career information). The only classes I found I will need to take my senior year and in college are business, biology, and chemistry.
Dietetic technicians must complete a 2-year Associate Degree program that is accepted by the American Dietetic Association. They must pass a commission dietetics registration. The area I looked into before anything else was trying to find colleges in Ohio that are within my spending budget. I want to limit my college cost to equal to or less than $15, 000. I want something either close to my home in Celina or in Lima close to my Aunt Danielle. I was able to find one college that fit that description; James A Rhodes Community College; the estimated cost is $6463.50 for a 2 year associate degree. I continued my search after that and found seven other colleges in Ohio.
I wondered what would be expected of me once I received my associates degree in Dietetic Technicians. Common tasks that I would be expected to do would be: observe patients food intake, prepare a meal, follow recipes, determine group food quantities, obtain and evaluate dietary history of individuals to plan a nutritional program, analyze menus and recipes, standardize recipes and test new products, plan menus and diets or guide individuals and families in food selection, preparation, and menus planning based upon nutritional needs and establish guidelines. Jobs that are considered secondary but still important are: supervise food production and service or assist dieticians and nutritionist in food service supervision and planning, develop job specification, job description, and work schedule; select, schedule, and conduct orientation and in-service education programs, provide dietitians with assistance researching food, nutrition and food service systems, determine food and beverage costs and assist in implementing cost control procedures, refer patients to other relevant services to provide continuity of care, deliver speeches on diet, nutrition and health to promote healthy eating habits and illness prevention and treatment (O*NET)
Once I knew what would be expected of me I looked into was what kind of environment I would working. According OCIS, the job could be potentially dangerous if I was a klutz because you would be working with sharp objects and there is a danger of being exposed to diseases. The places I would be working at would be in a variety of settings including school systems, colleges and universities, government agencies hospitals, prisons, home health agencies, community health centers, long term care facilities and food related industries according to M.S. Health Careers.
The last area of concern to me was after I went through all the trouble to find all this information and going to one of the above colleges was: would there be a job for me or was I going to be stuck living on social security? So I did my research on that. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook Employment Opportunities for Dietetic Technicians, Dietetic Technicians are expected to grow about as fast as the averagejob, which is an increase of 10%-20% over the next eight years. I found out as well from this site, that the growth percentage of this job per year is 1.5%. I also found the employment of dietary is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014 as a result of increasing emphasis on disease prevention through improved dietary habits. (NY Job Source). Public interest in nutrition and increased emphasis on health education and prudent lifestyles also will spur demand, especially in management. (Growth outlook )the growing and aging population will also increase demands for Dietetic Technician because they will need balanced meals and nutritional counseling in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. And in most other occupations, jobs opening will result from the need to replace the experienced workers who retire or leave the position for another reason. (NY Job Source)
In this paper I have learned about the three areas that concern me the most: education, job expectations, and job availability and I have begun a process to overcome them. The college I choose to start out at is James A. Rhodes Community College because of the low cost and that fact it is close to home. I think I will not have too much to worry about my job because I am not too much of a klutz and I have a decent immune system, and if I complete colleges I will know what foods to eat to prevent diseases. The only thing that still concerns me is if I am going to get a job, because the future is never certain, but all you can do is hope for the best and see how the cards fall.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
2008-2009 edition, Dietitians and Nutritionist
Colleges.US.com, 2009 James A Rhodes Community College April 9 2009
“Dietetic Technician” Wages, Average wages and percents May 2005 April 13, 2009
Eatright.org.2007, colleges in Ohio. March 27, 2009
“Frequently Asked Questions in Dietetics” March 2003. April 13, 2009
Health Career Information. 3/25/09, Dietetic Technicians. March 25 2009
“Job outlook” NY Job source March 2008 April 2009
Ohio Career Information System. “Dietetic Technician” 2008 Coldwater high school.
March 24, 2009
O*NET online. 2008.Summary Report for Dietetic Technician. March 25, 2009
Rinderly, Lynn. Explority Interview. March 27 2009.