Becoming a Registered Dietitian – My Story

Introducing

The number one question I get asked on my blog is WHY I chose to become an RD.  I’d love to be able to tell people the answer to this question in one short, neat and all-encompassing way, but the truth is I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life for a LONG time (Until I was 25 years old in fact). I dealt with this issue in the way any normal 18 year old would, I grabbed a backpack and bounced about the world for a few years, waiting for an epiphany.  When that didn’t point me in a direction I was satisfied with, I came home and worked in various sales-related jobs and tried to figure out what I wanted to do at university.  Eventually, while I was toying with the idea of a business degree, a friend of mine mentioned the field of nutrition.  To them it was obvious, I had a science background, I was always reading nutrition related books and I was super interested in the food I was eating for my health and sports performance.  Why not take my natural interest a stage further and make it my career?

Epiphany received

On paper, working in nutrition would tick many, if not all of my ‘career’ boxes.  However, once I started to try and find a nutrition course, I became confused. Initially, I was focused on finding a home-study course. I mean, how hard could it be?  I was pretty sure I was already well informed and the course would only be a formality…….Wrong. A quick search of the internet found So. Many. Courses. They were all different lengths, via different modes of study, with a zillion different companies and qualification names.  I had no idea how I was supposed to pick a ‘good’ well respected course from a bad one.  Eventually, I dismissed them all and decided to work from the top down.  Perhaps the only way I could be sure that I was getting a good education was to finally go to university.

What on earth is ‘Dietetics’?

The terms ‘dietitian’ and ‘dietetics’ were completely new to me, but once I started reading, it seemed like the only path to go down.   Completing a vocational dietetics degree meant I would be educated at degree level in core sciences (including chemistry and physiology), applied nutritional science AND I would leave a member of the only regulated nutrition profession in the UK. So, there was no ‘quick fix’ for a nutrition qualification. Luckily I already had the pre-requisite science A levels, but without a science degree, I wasn’t eligible for the shorter 2 year masters course and I was going back to school for 4 years.

To Now..

Fast forward through 4 years of study, 3 (sometimes stressful) clinical placements and a few years working hard in NHS hospitals and I’m sitting here in Bali, working on creating my dream nutrition coaching company.

I couldn’t be happier.

So I guess the answer to ‘WHY’ I chose dietetics isn’t straight forward, but I can tell you why I love it. I love working in an area which I’m passionate about. I love working to help people improve the quality of their lives. I love critiquing nutrition trends and fads. I love expanding my knowledge in an ever- growing field. But most of all I love whole, real, good quality food…and eating!

 

To read more about HOW to become an RD, check out this post.

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3 Responses

  1. Lauren
    August 16, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Great story – I always love hearing how others got into the field! My favorite part is building relationships with clients & watching them grow, as well as working in the same office as amazing practitioners to support clients fully. So excited that you’ll be starting to coach too.

    • helen
      August 16, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Thanks Lauren! It’s a rewarding job for sure :) Keep up the good work!

  2. Annelie
    August 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Great post! I had a similar difficulty in choosing my career path in school and once I didn’t get the grades to study medicine I really had to question what I was naturally good at and interested in. Being brought up in an Irish family which has a huge social emphasis on eating/cooking and having a great baker of a granny – dietetics made sense. I got to help people the way doctors do but also do something I enjoy. The field of dietetics is so broad and it’s great to have a degree that allows you to have such a broad skill set that you can apply and adapt to so many industry’s apart from the health service!

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