The dietary aide job description consists of experts who are generally hired by hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities. They are the ones who ensure that the nutritional needs of a patient are met. They work hand-in-hand with dieticians and health care professionals in creating healthy meals for patients according to their dietary needs.
Eating a well-balanced diet is very important for having a healthy and strong body. Furthermore, proper diet and nutrition is essential, especially for those with chronic ailments. In order to fully recover from an illness, or maintain a strong immune system, dietary aides prepare and plan nutritious meals for patients. They use their vast knowledge of nutrition and diet to supply the body with the right food in the right amounts.
Duties and Responsibilities
Generally, dietary aides spend much of their time talking to patients about their food preferences. They work with the dietician in discussing nutritional requirements and develop menus and nutritional care plans.
A dietary aide assists the cook in determining the amount and type of food and supplies required for daily meals. They also assist in preparation and serving. Before distribution, the aide checks the individual diet trays and make sure that it follows the dining guidelines.
The dietary aide is responsible for keeping a complete food supply in the kitchen. They also check stock and help in obtaining them, and record the data on flow sheets and other documentation.
Depending on the institution, a dietary aide may also be in charge of the cleaning duties in the kitchen and dining rooms.
Education and Skills
Most employers require candidates to have an associate degree from an accredited program approved by the American Dietetic Association. Students should also pass a national exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. On the other hand, some employers only require a high school diploma or GED.
Work-related experience is always an advantage. Candidates should be knowledgeable in food nutrition, health, and diet. Cooking skills and computer literacy are also a must.
A dietary aide should also be able to maintain high sanitation and personal hygiene levels. They must have excellent communication skills and be able to work with a team. Like other careers, discipline, hard work, and organization are certainly needed to be a successful dietary aide. Dietary aides also need to be physically fit to be able to move around, bend, lift, and push. Furthermore, they should be able to read and follow instructions and fulfill responsibilities within a designated time frame.
Attentiveness is a must. Aspiring dietary aides should be critical in details, particularly in the ingredients measurement, cleanliness of the facility, and other dining protocols. Plus, they contribute to the efforts of dining and medical staff to promote health and safety.
Work Conditions and Salary
According to the BLS, the salary for dietary aide work is usually based on an hourly wage. However, some institutions offer fixed salaries. Work schedule may be early morning, afternoon, or evening. All candidates should be flexible and able to adapt to a shifting schedule and overtime to cater to the needs of the institution. Some employers also conduct training for inexperienced employees.
Dietary Aide Job Description: What’s A Day Like?
The dietary aide job description will vary depending on where you work, but generally, all tasks are the same. A typical day consists of corresponding with the dietary manager create a plan for the day and helping patients as needed. You might also have to deliver food to patient rooms based on their eating schedule. The daily duties also include removing food trays and taking them to get cleaned and sanitizing dining areas. It’s vital that they adhere to safety guideline to avoid food contamination due to improper food storage and cleaning methods.
Furthermore, dietary aides do other tasks throughout the day such as working in the kitchen to actually prepare the meals for the day. Check out more duties below:
Make Sure Patients Take Their Medication
A patient’s medication is just as important as their nutrition. A dietary aide’s job is to take care of the entire well-being of the patient, and most of the time patient’s have to take their meds when they have a meal. So naturally, the two go hand-in-hand, making it apart of the aide’s daily responsibility.
If there are any changes to the patient’s diet or eating schedule, it has to be given to the dietician. The files have to be updated as well so there are no issues with the patient’s health and nutrition moving forward.
Speaking With Patient’s Family Members
A huge part of a patient’s success is the diet they eat at home. Since most of them live with family member’s, it’s important that their relatives understand their eating plan and medication schedule. Plus, the family has to know how to prepare the patient’s meals.
Keeping An Eye On The Patient’s Health Condition
If a patient is diabetic or has high blood pressure, it has to be closely monitored. Therefore, the dietary must ensure their health is stable and their nutrition is up to par to support their condition.
Helping Patient’s With Other Aspects of Their Health
Sometimes a patient needs help with learning how to walk with a cane, check their sugar levels, and other health maintenance which a dietary aide will assist with. They also assist patients with their hygiene by helping them groom and bathe.
Other Careers In The Medical Field
Now that you know more about the dietary aide job description, you might be wondering what other careers there are in the health industry. If you want to keep your options open, here are some other jobs:
Nutritional therapists take a holistic approach to health and wellness and inspect a person’s lifestyle in order to create a nutritional diet for them. They also study human behavior to better understand eating patterns and behaviors.
A lot of private businesses hire wellness consultants to provide healthy eating and exercise tips to employees. They give seminars to help office workers deal with stress and low energy.
A nutrition writer is an expert in the area of health and wellness and writes pamphlets, E-books, articles, and newspaper columns about a healthy lifestyle. They also provide information on updated research regarding nutrition.
Sports dieticians help athletes stay on tops of their eating plans and overall health. They work with individuals and the teams about optimizing their nutrition and using food to recover from injuries.
Final Thoughts On The Dietary Aide Job Description
As you can see from this article, the dietary aide job description includes a lot of work. If you enjoy being hands-on, this role provides plenty of work and you won’t get bored. The most important thing to remember is that you will be working with patient’s so you’ll need to be friendly and be sensitive to the needs of others. If you think you have what it takes to do this job, the educational requirements are minimal. Not to mention, employment is plentiful in the health industry.
Hopefully, this article is informational and helps you decide if you want to be a dietary aide!