Dietary aides, sometimes known as dietetic technicians, assist patients staying at the healthcare facility in getting a nutritious diet. Aides collaborate with certified dieticians to develop meal plans, track patient eating patterns, and give patients and their families dietary advice. Moreover, they could prepare or manage meals to guarantee that the food served to fulfill the caloric requirements of the clients. What else should you know about a dietary aide? Let’s find out.
Dietary Aide Job Description
Healthcare facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers, provide meals to their patients. Often, these patients have medical issues that necessitate particular dietary restrictions. Dietitians and dietary aides collaborate to ensure that patients get meals that are both safe to consume and adhere to nutritional standards. A dietary aide job description and typical responsibilities include the following:
- Examining the nutritional needs of a patient
- Food preparation and service
- Observing how a resident or patient eats and report swallowing or chewing issues to medical or nursing personnel
- Examining food intake to ensure that the items being served adhere to a patient’s dietary requirements
- Keeping track of how much a patient consumes
- Patients and their families get dietary instruction and advice
Educational Requirement for Dietary Aides
Dietary aides often require a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many aides get their training while on the job. However, prior experience in the foodservice industry is advantageous. An employer may also prefer a dietetic technician with food cleanliness certification or any knowledge in nutrition.
How Does One Become a Dietary Aide?
Employers may want those with prior experiences in an institutional dietary environment, such as hospitals or nursing homes, although this is not a strict requirement. Education as an assistant in a health facility such as a hospital may sometimes lead to full-time dietary aide career possibilities.
Dietary Aide and the Food Service Industry
Dietary aides usually work with other healthcare providers. However, they spend a lot of time in cafeterias and kitchens. As aides are responsible for preparing meals, examining meal trays, and serving meals to residents and patients, they should anticipate being mostly on their feet. Dietary aides are required to work various shifts, including nights, weekends, and during emergencies.
A dietary aide should have good communication skills, especially when dealing with patients and residents. Their responsibilities involve assisted living which means patience and adherence to health confidentiality and privacy regulations are necessary.
Is there Any Career Growth for a Dietary Aide?
Dietary aides may expect to earn more as their expertise grows, even though some may admit the increase to be only minimal. According to a poll, many dietary aides work as nursing assistants, dietary cooks, or even registered nurses.
In the United States, dietary technologists receive an average annual pay of $26,500. This data came from a study in May 2017 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It indicates that half of the dietary aids get paid more than this, while the other half receives less.
The figures below demonstrate the link between employee experience and median annual salary.
- Zero to five years: $19,000
- Five to ten years: $21,000
- Ten to twenty years: $21,000
- More than twenty years: $24,000