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A Nutritionist provides public health nutritional services focusing on children and senior citizens, disease prevention, consultation and education to prevent disease.

Nutritionists develop programs, manage projects and provide support to those providing the nutritional programs and services within a region. They also provide nutrition expertise in the form of promotion, prevention, consultation, and education to other health care providers in accordance with established standards of the Dieticians of Canada and the philosophy and objectives of their respective Health and Social Services Authority to facilitate residents' ability to achieve and maintain optimum nutritional health and well being.

The Nutritionist's focus is on optimizing nutritional intake; individualizing food intake to meet specific nutritional or dietary requirements; promoting overall health and well-being and realizing optimal nutritional health.

Responsibilities of a Nutritionist:

1. To provide nutritional advice, expertise and consultation to community health centers, childcare agencies, group homes and other agencies to facilitate an improvement in nutrition status, healthier lifestyles, and to support community development in nutrition-related programs using a problem solving approach and in accordance with the standards, guidelines and scope of nutrition therapy to facilitate individualized client care.

2. Provide nutrition information on a multi-disciplinary team of health and social services professionals, and other colleagues. Communicate with other members of the health care team regarding the health care of clients to provide continuity of care and promote collaborative efforts directed toward quality patient care

3. Advocate practice environments that have the organizational and human support systems and the resource allocations necessary for safe, competent and ethical dietary care.

Main Activities:

  • The Nutritionist assesses a community's nutrition status and determines whether nutrition intervention is required.
  • Designs, delivers and evaluates nutrition training workshops for community program workers, including determining and locating culturally relevant resources and materials that are appropriate.
  • Performs site visits to evaluate services and risk assessment, as well as to review menus and recommend changes where required.
  • Assists in the development of policies in relation to nutrition.
  • Assists clients in realizing and maintaining maximum nutrition health.
  • Advises and consults on health risk advisories and environmental contaminants.
  • Participates in individual case management sessions and provides direct nutrition counseling on a very limited basis.
  • Review, interpret and disseminate current nutrition information from workshops, newsletters, journals and newspaper articles.
  • Provide professional development and support to regional health board staff, community agencies and other health care providers, such as CHRs, by holding training workshops and participating in employee orientation.
  • Participate in interagency meetings to exchange information and assist in ongoing program planning, implementation and evaluation of joint nutrition and health initiatives.
  • Develop, review and revise a resource library of print and video materials that is appropriate to the cultures and languages of the communities.
  • Provide coaching and leadership to peers, students and other members of the health care team to develop knowledge levels necessary to achieve the standard of care.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to advocate health care environments that are conducive to ethical practice and to the health and well-being of clients and others in the setting.
  • Orientate new employees to specific specialty programs.
  • Participate in committees, task forces, and research projects