A dietary aide or dietetic technician at a nursing home is primarily responsible for assisting a dietary manager in preparing and serving food to residents. Dietary aides make sure that the prepared meals follow a program that promotes better nutrition.
In addition to helping with food preparation, a dietary aide helps nursing home residents who are physically impaired and have difficulty with eating. The job responsibilities of a dietary aide may further consist of preparing, cleaning and maintaining dining areas and the kitchen. Like other workers, the dietary aide must conform to the nursing home rules and state regulations.
To carry out the job responsibilities successfully, the dietary aide must pay close attention to detail and follow recipe instructions and the orders of the dietary manager. He must also be physically fit enough to prepare and serve meals and use the kitchen facility. Walking around in the nursing home to accomplish tasks and carrying heavy food supplies are part of the daily work routine of a dietary aide. Empathy and patience are required characteristics for elder care.
An individual aspiring to become a dietary aide may need a high school diploma or higher educational background. Depending on the state, the applicant must possess certification in food service or pass special examinations for dietetic technicians. Accepted applicants typically go through training under supervision of the employer or experienced workers.