Dietitians work in a number of different specialities: the Health Services Executive (HSE), private practice, consultancy, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, Government and Non- Government Organisations (NGOs). Dietitians advise and influence food and health policy across the spectrum from government, to local communities and individuals.
In the clinical setting, Dietitians:
- Work as integral members of multi-disciplinary teams in the hospital setting to treat complex clinical conditions such as liver disease, transplantation, kidney disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, malnutrition, allergy and food intolerance.
- Treat patients using their knowledge of the medical condition involved and the application of nutrition in the prevention, treatment and management of the condition.
- Work with medical teams to ensure appropriate use of blood tests in the nutritional management of patients as well as the appropriate usage of nutritional supplements. They also advise on drug nutrient interaction to avoid potentially damaging side effects.
- Advise on appropriate nutrition interventions based upon evidence and careful medical, dietary and lifestyle histories.
In the Public Health Setting, Dietitians:
- Plan and implement public health programmes to promote health and prevent nutrition related diseases.
- Train and educate other health and social care professionals.
- Provide nutrition education to the public and in the workplace.
In Research, Dietitians:
- Explore the relationship between diet, health and disease across all life stages from conception to old age.
- Design and examine the effect of nutrition and lifestyle interventions on the prevention and treatment of various health conditions.
- Carry out laboratory research to gain an in-depth understanding of how nutrition affects the body.