A day as a dietitian

You work at your local hospital, and the day starts with a quick call to the surgical ward to check on nasogastric tube feeds which you arranged for a patient. You then go to your out-patient clinic and the first appointment is a young woman who has just been diagnoses with coeliac disease. After discussing what the condition means you help her to plan a suitable diet which avoids gluten-containing foods and discuss how she can get some foods, like gluten-free bread, on prescription. You also see patients with diabetes, a child who is struggling with her weight, and a lady who has raised cholesterol levels.

At the end of the clinic you return to the department office and sort out messages from the ward and after lunch, you attend a multidisciplinary team meeting on the ward to discuss the progress of patients in your care, and then go to give a talk to parents and teachers at a local school which is trying to encourage a healthy food culture. They are all really keen to hear what you say, and it is great to be able to answer all their questions and apply your detailed knowledge of food and nutrition.

Does this sound like you?

You're interested in science and food, and enjoy communicating with people of different ages and backgrounds. You can explain complex things simply and can adapt well to unexpected situations where no two days are the same.

What's next after GCSE?

You'll need a minimum of five GCSEs (or the equivalent), including maths and English. After obtaining good GCSE grades, you'll be ready to take at least two A levels or an approved Access course.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You'll need at least two A levels of which at least one must be a science subject. In reality, you're likely to need 3 A levels (or equivalent level 3 qualifications). Universities have different entry requirements, so it's essential to check which qualifications are preferred by each university you're considering.