When it comes to working as a dietitian, your education doesn’t stop when you finish your degree. In fact, a key element of creating a long and successful career as a dietitian is the willingness to seek out new opportunities for growth. Really, you never stop learning. There are many different reasons for this, all of which play an important role in defining the quality of the service you provide your clients.
Here are just a few reasons why a dietitian must never stop learning…
To Stay Up to Date with New Information and Approaches
On a global scale, the medical and scientific community are always researching new approaches, information and treatments to help the human body thrive. As a dietitian, you will meet a wide range of clients who are seeking answers to their specific ailments or advice on how to reach their goals. Staying up to date with the latest research, studies and novel techniques is the only way to ensure you are providing safe and effective lifestyle advice. This willingness to search for the very best approach is what makes an amazing dietitian, not to mention a very happy and satisfied client.
It Can Help You Find Your ‘Edge’
As we have spoken about previously, it’s often important to set yourself apart from the pack when it comes to working a dietitian. Your professional ‘edge’ is that area of dietetics that really excites and inspires you. However, if you don’t know what yours is just yet, that’s okay because a hunger for learning might help you find it.
Maybe you will find a branch of dietetics that you’re particularly passionate about. Perhaps you will identify a common, unaddressed need amongst your clients and develop your services around providing the best advice for a specific client presentation. Whatever it is, when you’re committed to learning as a dietitian, you commit yourself to creating a successful career that benefits your clients and community.
To Complete Your CPD Requirements
In Australia, all Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are required to complete 30 hours of Continued Professional Development (CPD) each calendar year. To satisfy this requirement, APDs are required to satisfy a number of specific obligations, such as identifying goals and applying a minimum number of hours in particular areas of development.
If you don’t complete this professional requirement, you run the risk of your APD status being suspended. This strict approach aims to ensure all accredited dietitians within Australia are providing up-to-date care to their clients. In short, if you’re not willing to put in the work, you simply cannot become an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
It Allows You to Provide a Better Quality Service
As a dietitian, clients come to you trusting that you will give them effective and up-to-date dietary advice. In many cases, the advice you provide them could change their lives, whether it’s by helping to rid them of painful symptoms or helping them achieve their athletic goals. With this in mind, how can you appropriately help someone if you don’t have a well-rounded background of knowledge to draw from?
This is why it’s essential that all dietitians are committed to their continued learning. Providing the best possible service to your client should be a priority, and the only way to do that is to ensure you continue to develop your knowledge and skills over time.