Whilst you might have gone into dietetics because of a particular interest, keep an open mind, placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience, working with a range of dietitians in a variety of settings. As well as being inspiring (in the way watching someone doing a brilliant job can be), it also affords you the opportunity to ask practicing dietitians what they love (and don’t love) about the roles that they do. Finding out about the opportunities for training, development and progression in your chosen area can also help you in making your decision.
WIDEN YOUR CHOICE
In particular, don’t rule out working with certain client groups. Many students express some apprehension about working in areas seen as more “complex” or “challenging”, such as paediatrics, learning disabilities, mental health, or in secure or prison settings, for example. Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent you from gaining as much experience as possible to help inform your future decision-making. You might find an area that you love and in which you can make a real difference. Joining a specialist group and immersing yourself in a particular area, can help to grow your knowledge, confidence and build a network of people whose experience and knowledge you can draw on (and whose work might inspire you!).