A few decades back, not many people knew of nutritionists. As a matter of fact, not many people really cared much about what went inside their stomach. Eating food and enjoying meals was considered to be one of those activities where one did not have to put much brains. However, things have changed drastically over a period of last few years. People are much more conscious about their diet and the food. A nutritionist is a person who sees that the nutrition requirements of a person are met. On the contrary, a dietician is a person who advices on the kind of food that people should eat. Here are some of the things that nutritionists do:
- The first, foremost and most important thing that a nutritionist does is that they study the effects of various kinds of food on a long term basis. There are certain foods that harm us directly and instantly. On the other hand, there are other kinds of foods that corrode the body on a long term basis. The nutritionists study the effects of these foods on the body and in turn, caution people against them. Apart from this, the nutritionist also study the metabolic requirements of people and on the basis of this, advises them to eat food which are metabolically appropriate for their body.
- Nutrition study individual body types. There are different types of bodies that people have. Some are naturally healthy. Some people have a greater tendency towards getting obese. While some other people suffer from hereditary or nutritional disorders. The requirement of nutrition in each of the different kind is different. Nutritionists tell people about the proper nutrition that is required by their body. The nutrition requirements that the nutritionists tell people is intended to protect people from any kind of ailments or health problems which they are prone or vulnerable too. Thus, the nutritionists keep people healthy in their own small way.
- Nutritionists also play an important role in the recuperation process of ailing patients as well as in the post-recovery phase of people. The body requires very proper nutrition after it has recovered from any disease. This is especially important for the first few weeks after the cure of the disease. The nutritionists take proper care of all patients by ensuring that the required nutrition is reached to them.
- Similarly, health nutritionists have an important role to play in the determining the food and nutrition requirements of expecting mothers as well as growing children. Children while in the early stages of growth require very proper nutrition. Similarly, expecting as well as lactating mothers also require special nutrition. Nutritionists work in collaboration with dieticians and physicians in rural areas where the nutrition and health requirements of people are seriously compromised with all the time. Some nutritionists work in these areas as part of the government organizations while others work privately.
- Lastly, nutritionists also find a lot of work in the food industry. The food industry, especially the packaged food industry, has to mandatorily consult the nutritionists so that they can produce food which is healthy for consumers.
Nursing is an integral part of the medical field and the nurses are an important element of medical profession. The fact is that it becomes quite impossible for doctors to run hospitals and clinics without the help of a nurse. The functions of a nurse are quite varied because they perform a number of duties. Nurses do not only have to work in hospitals but some private nurses do also take care of the patients at their homes. Ideally, the function of taking care of patients is attributed to the nurses. However, the fact remains that nursing is not only about taking care of ill patients but it is all about informing people about health care services, environment and health friendly practices and spreading awareness on a general basis. On a general basis, all nurses are required to perform functions like – recording temperatures, cleaning or bathing patients, changing sheets, assisting the patient in walking etc. Based on the kind of training taken, work environment chosen, some of the functions of nurses are:
- The International Council of Nurses states that it is the duty of a nurse to take care of patients of all ages and make sure that they are being given a good treatment. Apart from health care, it is also the duty of the Nurses to advocate good health practices and spread awareness about the various kinds of diseases and how they can be prevented.
- The Royal College of Nursing in United Kingdom states that the primary duty of a nurse is to ensure that a patient gets to have the best quality of life that is permissible for them, irrespective of the kind of disease that they are suffering from. It is also the duty of the nurse to ensure that the patient is given a good medical treatment so that they get a chance to recuperate well and maintain good health henceforth.
- The primary aim of a nurse is to help a patient perform those tasks that would help him to come out of his diseases and the tasks that the person would have performed on his own if he was capable of. Thus, the duty of a nurse will include everything from feeding the patient to even bathing and cleaning them in case of acute ailments.
- The main function of a public health nurse is to educate the society about various kinds of disease and how they can be prevented. Within their powers and duties, these nurses are required to keep an eye on all new kinds of diseases that are growing in society as well as the endemics and the epidemics. The public health nurses are also required to conduct mass awareness programs on various diseases and inform the public about how these diseases can be prevented and what precautions are to be taken.
- When nurses perform the job of midwifery, they usually work independent of any organization and more or less on a private basis. The main function of midwives is to assist in child birth. Their job lasts even after the child birth when they are supposed to take care of everything from breast feeding to various kinds of problems that may arise during child growth.
- The job of an assistant nurses is comparatively an easier one. An assistant nurse is one who assists a head nurse. These nurses are only supposed to follow the command of the head nurse. They have to do whatever they are told to do.
- Yet another kind of special nurse is the Specialized Community Public Health Nurses. These nurses do not actively participate in health care of the patients. Instead, they take care of the research department related to the health care. It is the duty of these nurses to keep various kinds of records (of diseases, patients etc.) which might be handy to medical practitioners as well as other authorities. These nurses are also responsible for publishing reports from time to time and informing the media about various things related to medical health and people.
- Lecture Practitioners are the nurses who are trained to work in both hospitals as well as university campuses. Within the hospitals, they perform all the basic functions of a nurse which includes taking care of patients, recording temperatures etc. However, in university campuses, these nurses work to educate other nurses.