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:

  • Science
  • English
  • Health and Food Technology
  • Maths

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a good way to start your career in healthcare.

Modern Apprenticeships 

A Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) is appropriate for people interested in working in a healthcare support role.

Find out more about apprenticeships at apprenticeships.scot.

Work placement

If you’re at school or thinking of changing career, doing a work placement could help you when applying to college, university or for a job in healthcare. You’ll learn new skills, improve your knowledge and discover what it’s like to work in the health service. Find out how to apply for work experience with the NHS.

The role

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

Top skills

You’ll need these skills:

  • caring for people
  • communicating with people
  • listening
  • motivating people
  • problem-solving
  • relationship-building

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • dietitians
  • physiotherapists
  • doctors
  • nurses
  • carers

Working environment

You could work in:

  • hospitals
  • the community
  • health centres

Useful information

To work as a dietetic support worker in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

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.

Working closely with dietitians and by completing a supervised training programme, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills.

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 very helpful if you decide you want to go to university to study to become a registered dietitian.