A clinical nutritionist is one of the medical practitioners using evidence-based medicine. Additionally, they use a holistic approach to healing. They treat the whole person’s body, mind, spirit, and emotions. But what are the exact roles that they play in the medical industry? How helpful can they be for a person’s overall wellness? Let’s go through this article and see what we can discover about a clinical nutrition specialist.
What is Clinical Nutrition?
Clinical nutrition is a practice wherein it involves the study of the nutrients our body needs. Generally speaking, we all know how essential the nutrients are to keep our bodies functioning. The food we eat can affect our health as well. For this reason, we need the help of a clinical nutritionist to assist us. Furthermore, clinical nutrition also involves analyzing a person’s adequate consumption of nutrients for good health. Clinical nutrition also associates with the prevention, diagnosis, and management of nutritional changes in patients with chronic diseases.
Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Before an individual becomes a certified nutrition specialist, they need to complete the following requirements.
- There is a need for a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, biochemistry, or a related field. There are graduate programs for this practice as well. On the other hand, licensed health care professionals may only need a few graduate nutrition courses. A dietetic and nutrition program gives general nutrition courses and also for specific areas.
- A nutritionist must also have a license. Licensure and certification include a completed bachelor’s degree, an approved, supervised internship, and an examination. Employers often hire those with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credentials. Meanwhile, licensure requirements differ from one state to another.
Some nutritionists start a nutrition private practice, which comes with various benefits for them. These benefits include: being your own boss, owning your schedule, getting paid according to your worth, and working with ideal clients.
Furthermore, here are some more reasons why it’s best to pursue this career. You may try to consider these details to help you decide on your degree in college and aim to become a certified nutrition specialist (CNS).
- competitive salary (an average of $51,112 per year in the US)
- a career that matches your interest in food
- strong job growth
- help patients through counseling and developing meal plans
- broad career opportunities for public health
Clinical Nutritionists vs Registered Dietitian
People often mistook these two careers as the same. Yes, there could be similarities, like belonging in the health and wellness industry. However, there are also differences between these two careers that we should not set aside. Let’s go with the similarities first. Nutritionists and dietitians cover the same coursework, and both of them will have a job to address the human body’s nutritional needs.
Additionally, their undergraduate coursework involves science-based programs. States require both nutritionists and dietitians to pass the certification. Then, both of them earn the same salary average. Meanwhile, let’s discuss their differences. One of their distinctive differences is their certification requirements. They will also differ with their chosen specialties to pursue.
A dietician and a nutritionist are both essential to our health care. They provide us with education about eating food that can keep us away from any disease. Their jobs and the professional services they provide are indeed beneficial to our overall health.
What Is Clinical Nutrition?, Learn.org, Accessed July 29, 2021, https://learn.org/articles/What_is_Clinical_Nutrition.html
Clinical Nutritionist vs. Dietitian: What’s The Difference?, Nycc.edu, Accessed July 29, 2021, https://www.nycc.edu/learn/clinical-nutritionist-vs-dietitian-whats-the-difference
Reasons Why You Should Consider a Career in Clinical Nutrition, Rush.edu, April 18, 2019, https://www.rushu.rush.edu/news/reasons-why-you-should-consider-career-clinical-nutrition