Clinical nutritionists work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and other institutions. They use good nutrition to help improve the overall health of patients with a wide range of conditions including cancer, osteoporosis, AIDS, lung disease, metabolic disorders, obesity, and liver, kidney, and pancreatic disorders. Patients undergoing surgery are also cared for by nutritionists. Clinical nutritionists provide services to patients accessing their nutritional needs and developing a dietary plan. They also evaluate and report the results.
Clinical nutritionists work with doctors and other healthcare professional to coordinate and implement patient’s nutritional needs. They are commonly involved with the care of patients that are overweight, have diabetes, have kidney problems, or are critically ill. By making dietary changes, patients can help prevent the clogging of the arteries, which can lead to heart disease or stroke. It can also help prevent and control diabetes. Clinical nutritionists also treat patients with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. They may also manage the food service department in small hospitals, nursing care facilities, or correctional facilities.
A Wide Range of Skills is Needed
Clinical nutritionists must be knowledgeable with how certain foods and supplements interact with medications. They must also be knowledgeable regarding patient food allergens. Common foods such as nuts, dairy products, fish, shrimp, bananas, soy, wheat gluten, and eggs may trigger dangerous allergic reactions in patients.
A career as a Clinical Nutritionist can be challenging and rewarding. Typically they work with patients that have significant health issues and dietary changes can play a big role in improving their health. The average Clinical Nutritionist salary is about $50,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov).
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