This paper has analyzed the differences between a health educator and a nutrition professional (a dietician). The paper will critically analyze their roles, responsibilities to the people and their academic qualifications that they require to attain in order to practice in their field of study.
Health education is a career that involves teaching people and community at large about education. It is defined as the combination of experiences that are based on theories that give groups, communities and individuals a chance to get skills and information that is required in making health decisions. Therefore, a health educator is a professionally equipped individual that teaches the people about behavior that support and promote wellness. Their career is based on developing materials and programs that help people in making healthy decisions. These professionals work in various settings such as non-profit organizations, hospitals, private business, doctor's office and colleges. He or she is a professionally trained individual who has a variety of responsibilities and roles. They are trained to use appropriate educational methods and strategies to help in the development of procedures, policies and systems that are conducive to the health groups, individuals and communities ( American College of Rheumatology, 2013).
A health educator has seven areas of responsibilities
They include; assessing assets, capacity and needs of health education; planning and implementing health education; conducting research and evaluation of health education; managing and administering health education; serving as health education resource personnel; and advocating and communicating for health and health education. Health educator's training varies depending on their place of work. The entry level for a health educator is a bachelor degree. Some of them hold a degree and others a masters degree from Public Health Colleges, a National Commission on Health Education Credential. An individual that is recognized as a certified health Education Specialist is one that has attained academic eligibility, has passed an examination that is written and has an ongoing commitment for their education.
On the other hand, there are a variety of nutrition professionals
For instance, dieticians are nutrition professionals who are experts in nutrition and food. They have advised people on the right type of food to eat in order for them to live a healthy life and to attain a goal that is health related. Similar to a health educator, an entry level dietician should hold a bachelor degree, and should have met the stipulated professional and academic requirements. They should have achieved a credited curriculum for nutritionist and fulfilled a well-designed and supervised practice program at either a food-service organization, community agency or a health care facility. Unlike health educators who are responsible of educating people about health, a nutritionist professional works in the prevention and treatment of diseases that nutrition or food related (The British Diatitics Associations, 2012).
Registered dieticians are nutritionist's professionals who assess, diagnose and treat problems that arise due to nutrition. They are required to hold accredited courses by the Accreditation Council for education in Dietetics and Nutrition, just like health educators required accreditation. However, for nutritionists they are required to hold a license that shows that the practitioner has observed the stipulated laws that protect the public against unqualified nutritionists. Health educators do not require to be licensed by the state but they require thorough training and planning in order to educate the people on the best health practices. It is significant to note that, health educators and nutritional professional both work towards achieving a similar goal. They both work to achieve a community that is well informed about health issues, and further a nutritionist treats any disease that arises from nutrition and food related issues in order to achieve better health for the community.
The research paper has successful identified the differences and similarities between the nutritionist professional (a dietician) and a health educator. The paper has identified their roles in the health sector and their academic qualifications.
American College of Rheumatology. (2013). The role of health educator in the management of rheumatic disease. The American College of Rheumatology.
The British Diatitics Associations. (2012). Nutritionists, Diatitician, Nutritional therapist or Diet Expert? The British Diatitics Associations.