Do you have a passion for health and food? A career in dietetics could be the right choice for you. Becoming a registered dietitian requires having a science-based background. The role of a registered dietician in Ghana cannot be overemphasized.
As a registered dietician, you could work in a hospital or other medical facility and provide nutritional care to patients. Or, you could focus on population-level nutrition and work with nonprofits, government entities or educational institutions.
There are also opportunities to conduct research, work with children and even join the military. Registered dieticians work in a variety of settings including clinical, business and management, private practice and culinary.
In this article, we’ll take you through the steps that you need to follow to become a registered dietician in Ghana. That’s not all, you’ll also get to know universities in Ghana where you can study dietetics and nutrition.
Who is a Dietician?
A dietician is a professional trained in the field of nutrition to advise others about healthy eating. They are trained to modify an individual’s diet based on medical conditions, body makeup or other factors.
Dieticians assess, diagnose, recommend, and treat various medical diagnosis and dietary problems primarily on a one-on-one basis. Their primary goal is to ensure that the right quantity and type of nutrients are being consumed by the individual they are working with.
What Does a Dietician Do?
A registered dietician is qualified to develop and manage nutritional programs for individuals or groups of people in various institutions. There are several types of dietitians, including clinical dietitians, community dietitians, management dietitians, consultant dietitians and research dietitians. Job duties vary by role but usually include the following:
- Determining dietary needs for patients
- Creating meal plans and making changes as needed
- Providing nutritional counselling to individuals and groups
- Keeping track of each patient’s progress
Where Can I Work as a Dietitian?
Registered dietitians work in a wide variety of workplace settings, including:
- Public Hospital
- Cancer Care Centres
- Retail pharmacies
- Public health agencies
- Private Practice
- Sport and Fitness Gyms
- Hotels and Foodservice
- Surgery clinics
How to Become A Registered Dietitian in Ghana
Below is a step by step guide on how to become a registered dietician in Ghana.
1. Obtain a Bachelors Degree
To become a registered dietician in Ghana, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics or food and nutrition. In Ghana, it takes four (4) years to obtain a bachelors degree in the field of nutrition.
During your studies, you will be expected to take courses in evidence-based nutrition, applied food principles, food service systems, nutritional therapy, and community nutrition.
Additionally, you can also become a registered dietician by enrolling for a masters degree in nutrition and dietetics. This option would be appealing to students who are already in the field of nutrition or studied related discipline.
2. Complete an Internship
To become a registered dietician, it’s mandatory to complete a one-year internship program. During these internships, students should complete at least 1,200 hours under the supervision of a licensed professional. Students on the undergraduate and graduate levels must complete an internship before getting their professional credential.
3. Pass the Registration Examination
After prospective dietitians complete their degree requirements and internship program, they must take the professional certification examination by the Allied Health Professional Council.
4. Maintain License and Registration
Registered Dieticians must maintain their status by completing continuing professional education requirements. This designation indicates to prospective employers that job candidates have met certain qualifications.
Universities Offering Nutrition and Dietetics in Ghana
Below is the list of universities offering a degree in nutrition and dietetics in Gana.
- University of Ghana, Legon
- University of Health and Allied Health Sciences, Ho
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
- University of Cape Coast
Requirements to Study Nutrition and Dietetics in Ghana
There some requirements that you must meet before being offered admission to study nutrition and dietetics in a Ghanaian university.
For a BSc degree in nutrition and dietetics, applicants must have a strong science background. Applicants are also expected to have at least a credit in the following subjects Chemistry, Biology, Core Mathematics, Physics and English Language.
For MSc degree in nutrition and dietetics, applicants must obtain a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics or a related discipline. Some universities may require applicants to have at least a second class lower division at BSc level.