Meet a Dietitian
We caught up with Livana, who is an accredited practising dietician based in Brisbane. She is passionate about helping people to find ways to enjoy healthy foods, and learn more about how foods can impact our bodies. At the moment she is working with a new health food store, Kiah Organic and Wholefood Warehouse, which stocks a wide range of organic and wholefoods.
What courses did you study to become a Dietitian? And tell us a bit about your current role?
I studied a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics at Queensland University of Technology over four years. The course focused on a range of subjects including anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, food science and psychology.
I’m also registered as an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), which is the only credential recognised by Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most private health funds to be eligible for fund rebates. To maintain registration APDs must complete a minimum amount of training and education each year to stay up-to-date with research. I now work in private practice at Kiah Organic and Wholefood Warehouse.
What does a Dietitian do on a day-to day basis?
Dietitians use their skills to work in a range of areas, including private practice and consulting, hospitals and aged care, community nutrition and public health, food service management, industry, and research. Dietitians provide advice on healthy eating and specific medical conditions through performing individualised nutrition assessments, developing personalised eating plans, assisting in goal setting and behaviour change counselling, delivering group nutrition education and developing nutrition communications.
Working in private practice, I spend most of my day consulting with clients to develop individual nutrition plans, as well as providing food and dietary advice to customers.
What do you think are the skills a Dietitian should have?
- It’s important to have an interest in food and a basic understanding of food preparation to be able to provide practical advice.
- Strong communication skills are required for translating and conveying to the public, as well as for corresponding with Doctors and other allied health professionals.
- Time management skills are crucial when dealing with client and administration responsibilities, while creative and critical thinking are used to analyse research and determine appropriate nutrition plans.
What are the three things you absolutely love about your job?
I love the variety that my job provides; I may see a client with diabetes, a newly diagnosed person with celiac disease, or someone after advice for sports performance, all in a single day. I love helping people to find new ways to enjoy nutritious foods. Part of being a dietitian often involves discussing healthy recipes, providing education on food preparation and label-reading, and modification of recipes to improve the nutrition profile. I believe that healthy eating should be enjoyable!
I love having a job that can make a difference to someone’s life. Diet and lifestyle are such key factors in the prevention and management of so many diseases; dietitians can provide people with the tools that they need to improve their health.
What advice would you give students aspiring to work in the Nutrition industry?
Firstly, do your homework when deciding which course to study. Many institutions offer nutrition-related degrees, including 2-week online courses through to 4 or 5-year tertiary degrees. Make sure you choose a reputable course that uses up-to-date and evidence-based information and check that this will be compatible with the area that you would like to work in.
What is next on your career horizon?
I’m looking to grow my new practice at Kiah, and spend more time developing nutrition workshops and cooking demonstrations. I’m passionate about helping people to develop the skills that they need to incorporate healthy eating into their lifestyles, and Kiah is a great place to be able to do that.
Thank you Livana, for sharing your story with training.com.au