"How and where can I gain experience in dietetics?"
1) What do universities look for?
Work shadowing/observation with a dietitian is preferable to gain a realistic understanding of what a career as a dietitian involves. This could also be attending a NHS dietetics open day.
Paid or voluntary work is desired to show applicants have made a voluntary contribution to their community e.g. volunteering in a care home.
Interaction with the general public e.g. check-out or restaurant role.
2) Finding experience
Start with contacting your local dietetics department through your local hospital and ask to speak to the dietetic manager.
Be willing to contact areas around your location too if it is just for a day of experience!
Use the NHS website to find a list of hospitals in your local area.
Don't be afraid to connect with and contact dietitians on LinkedIn to ask for some experience.
3) Apply for an assistant role
If you are looking for some paid work experience, working as a dietetic assistant practitioner or as a dietetic support worker provides a valuable insight into the role and shows your commitment.
This requires more time but is a great option if you want to take a longer period of time to gain experience.
4) It doesn’t have to be in Dietetics!
If you are struggling to find experience in a dietetic setting, don't panic!
Experience in care work, with a nutrition-related charity or as a healthcare assistant will also be well received!
One last tip is to give yourself plenty of time to get experience, the more you have the better, as you will have more to discuss within your personal statement and interviews.
I hope you have found these tips useful! Good luck!
Reema Rabheru (IG: dieteticallyreems)