Before becoming a Registered Nutritional Therapist I was far removed from the health and wellbeing sector. I was in a busy office job that had some element in helping people but did not give me the satisfaction I wanted out of a job. I spent a few months looking around at what I was interested in and spoke with a friend about it. She said to me “If I gave you a book voucher and you went to a book store, what section would you go to?” It immediately dawned on me that the nutrition path was calling. I had a look around online and contacted someone at BANT to see what courses were available. I then found a course that was suited to my working hours and life at home.
Being a Registered Nutritional Therapist there isn’t a typical day as each day presents new challenges and I love every second of it. One example of a clinical day would begin with checking emails and seeing what is urgent, then seeing which clients I need to prepare for and collate the clinic paperwork. I may then spend 4 hours in clinic then back home to finish the clinic notes. If I have time, I will spend time on an article for my website or the media and also send out a tweet or two on social media.
It can be very rewarding especially when you see a client come back to the follow up session feeling much better than the previous session. Most are just so pleased that you have managed to get to the root cause of their symptoms. I guess the only negative is the necessary paperwork after seeing a client but that speeds up with more and more consultations you do.
Good written and communication skills are important so you can really relate to the client. You need to be able to organise your workload according to priorities. It helps be IT-literate as the Internet is the best way to access the the latest research.
The training is intense but when I left my institution I really felt I was ready for the outside clinical world. The lectures are so interesting and the fellow students really help guide the process. I found myself forming a mini network to be able to bounce ideas off and have guidance with clinical conundrums in college and post graduation.
Aside from clinic, I began writing a blog, which has led to a few paid opportunities of media writing and also forming good networks. I have created a mini nutrition cookery day and a weight loss group that I offer in my local area. I am now in the planning stages of launching a snack product. It’s also important not to forget to market your practice. This takes time but it is really worth it and also you learn a whole new skill but the toolkits provided by BANT help a lot with this.
There are no set working hours. As I am self-employed I pick and choose when I work. There are times when I’m required to work long hours or at weekends but in general the work/life balance is pretty good.
Interesting, sometimes intense, unique and rewarding.
Being a Registered Nutritional Therapist is such a unique career. Don’t expect to jump from college into a full-time position. It can take time to build up your business. However the work is extremely rewarding and there isn’t a day where you don’t learn something new. There is never a better time to join the profession as it is growing so fast and I’m sure it will become a primary healthcare option in the near future. The decision to become a Registered Nutritional Therapist is probably the best I have ever made.