Proper nutrition and diet play a crucial role in an individual’s overall health. Despite advances in healthcare and medicine, many individuals still face various medical conditions that could throw off their body’s original state of balance.
As a side effect, an individual’s nutrition can be compromised. Fortunately, there are specific medical professionals embracing this discipline – clinical nutritionists.
Studying clinical nutrition involves improving nutrition among patients of illnesses and injuries, as well as providing recovery for post-surgery patients. If you’re interested in taking up this field, you can visit here to learn more about taking up a master’s degree in clinical nutrition online.
Upon your degree completion, here are more career opportunities that can welcome you:
Nutrition and Dietetics
As a clinical nutritionist degree holder, the first career option that comes in your way is engaging in nutrition and diet practice. Basically, you’ll contribute your broad knowledge in clinical nutrition in various institutions as a nutritionist or dietitian for healthcare patients.
Because of your expertise in food and how it affects the human body in specific ways, you’re one of the most qualified healthcare experts to provide nutrition menus and plans that patients should follow according to their health condition.
Aside from people with existing medical conditions, as a nutritionist, you can also offer consultation and advice to the general public. This involves both individuals in good shape and those who want to improve their health.
To step up your game, you can further your clinical nutrition studies through clinical research. As a clinical researcher, you’ll pioneer different dietary interventions and possibly discover new substances and techniques that could lead to health advancements.
With a strong foundation in nutrition and dietetics, you’re well equipped to conduct new research revolving around many disciplines, such as weight management, food safety and standards, therapy, sports and exercise, and more.
Food and Nutrition Management
After accomplishing your clinical nutrition degree, you can participate in the food and nutrition management field in a myriad of settings at schools, restaurants, hotels, spas, health institutions, and food manufacture.
Your main responsibilities in a food and nutrition management landscape are:
- Ensure safe cooking and food preparation
- Contribute your knowledge in menu planning
- Supervise food production processes
- Oversee day-to-day operations of clinical food services
- Recruit and train qualified food preparation and nutrition staff
- Conduct nutritional analysis and evaluation of different food menus
A food and nutrition manager covers a wide spectrum of responsibilities that could affect people’s health on a daily basis. To guarantee that institutions and businesses are following food safety protocols and guidelines, food and nutrition managers drive this aspect.
Public Health Nutrition
Instead of working with individual clients, as a public health nutritionist, you can open your healthcare services to more people including those who can’t avail of these services for themselves.
You can work inside a community involving a large population, helping manage their nutritional habits for improved health.
Since you’ll be working in a community with people of different backgrounds, they’ll greatly rely on your services due to your expertise.
You’ll be assessing their health needs, plan out better nutritional habits to teach these people, and work with community leaders about health program initiatives.
As a public health nutritionist, you can collaborate with federal government organizations, like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and related groups.
You can also participate in Congregate Meals programs and work with local and state agencies in providing healthcare to women, infants, and children.
International Food Organizations
If you’d love to work with more healthcare professionals to improve the people’s overall quality of life, be involved in international food organizations that contribute to certain causes.
These organizations are further divided into various branches that have certain specializations, and your knowledge and experience in clinical nutrition are vital for these purposes.
For instance, you can contribute to movements fighting against malnutrition and world hunger by participating in the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), which aims to fight hunger worldwide.
You can also join NGOs and foundations, like the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and even contribute to food research in research institutes, like the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Contrary to public health nutrition, which focuses on a large population, as a nutritional consultant, your healthcare services are more concentrated on an individual.
Because of this, your approach will be more personalized according to the health condition of your patient and which areas they’re categorized into.
Since you’re a clinical nutrition degree holder, your comprehensive knowledge about the various field of nutrition will help you qualify in providing consultation services in health areas, including:
- Weight management and healthy weight loss
- Eating disorders
- Diabetes management
- Sports nutrition
Once you’ve finished your master’s degree in clinical nutrition, you’re greatly equipped to step into the applications of your knowledge in school. With your clinical nutrition degree, you have a variety of professions to choose from, as elaborated above.
Because of the importance of food and nutrition to human life, your specialization will create a big impact on future health advancements as you choose the right career path.