Dietetic support worker
Sometimes choosing the right person to give you advice about your diet is a confusing task. In the NHS in Scotland, dietetic support workers have a vital role in the dietetic team. They work with dietitians, who are the only regulated healthcare professionals who give food and nutrition advice.
Starting your career
Choosing subjects at school
To become a dietetic support worker, you need a good standard of education. There are no entry requirements, but useful subjects include:
- Health and Food Technology
Work placements and volunteering
You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.
A Foundation Apprenticeship could give you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to start your career journey as a dietetic support worker.
Find out more about the Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services and Healthcare.
Begin or continue learning the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to become a dietetic support worker with a Modern Apprenticeship.
Learn more about the Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.
All Healthcare Support modern apprentices study the three mandatory units of communication, health and safety, and learning development. For dietetic support worker, you will then choose your remaining units from the clinical pathway options.
Dietetic support workers assist dietitians and help them carry outpatient assessments and review treatment programmes.
They provide advice on:
- diet and nutrition plans
- using feeding tubes and pumps
- making food choices from hospital menus
What you’ll do
Your main tasks include:
- updating patient records
- advising nurses and other healthcare professionals about the patient’s nutritional requirements
- weighing patients
- ordering supplies
You’ll need these skills:
- motivating people
Who you’ll work with
You could work with:
You could work in:
- the community
- health centres
To work as a dietetic support worker in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:
- complete occupational health checks
- join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
Did you know?
Having a good diet is a key factor in the prevention of long-term conditions such as type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Learning and development
When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment.
You'll develop your skills by working closely with dietitians and completing a supervised training programme.
You may also be encouraged while in the post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:
Getting experience as a healthcare support worker can be helpful if you decide you want to go to university to study to become a registered dietitian.
Learn more about becoming a healthcare support worker from NHS Education for Scotland's Healthcare Support Worker Careers Guidance leaflet.