CLASSIFICATION NO. 544
Under general supervision, to provide nutrition education and counseling to individuals and groups; to assess client nutrition status and eligibility for supplemental food programs; and to do other work as required.
The Community Health Division within the Department of Human Services promotes and protects the health of County residents. The Division’s services include health care treatment and referral, immunizations, prenatal care, family planning, treatment of chronic and transitory mental and emotional disorders, alcohol and drug abuse and gerontological and adolescent problems. The Division provides counseling, day treatment, case management, civil commitment, crisis response and vocational rehabilitation services, nutrition and health education and counseling, emergency medical services, community health nurse services, primary care and dental services, vital records, inspection/licensing of restaurants and monitoring communicable diseases.
The Nutrition Assistant assesses client eligibility for participation in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program and provides targeted and best practice nutrition information, education and counseling to clients.
The Nutrition Assistant differs from the professional Nutritionist which serves as a technical advisor and provides advanced nutrition counseling and education programs throughout the County. It also differs from the Health Assistant which assists health care providers in providing general health care to clinic patients.
Duties may include but are not limited to the following:
- Conducts nutrition assessments and provides nutrition counseling to clients; addresses medical and nutritional risk factors and special needs of women, infants and children; develops individual nutrition plans based on client’s abilities, lifestyle, budget and culture; refers clients to other services.
- Determines and certifies client eligibility for the WIC federal supplemental food program; screens clients for income and residency eligibility; counsels eligible clients on program compliance, procedures and services.
- Provides nutrition education to WIC clients; plans and develops nutrition education experiences and activities; teaches groups on nutrition-related health issues, feeding guidelines, shopping, food preparation and storage; produces nutrition educational materials, handouts and newsletters for clients.
- Performs anthropometric and biochemical screenings for nutritional health problems; administers blood hemoglobin tests; weighs and measures infants, children and women; and enters data in a state data system.
- Documents individual client nutrition plans according to federal, state and local requirements; documents client’s health progress; schedules follow-up appointments; refers high-risk clients to Nutritionist.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Working knowledge of: Recommended food requirements for children, infants and pregnant/lactating women; techniques for storing and preparing food; comparative costs and nutritional values of various foods; interviewing and record keeping techniques; basic rules and eligibility guidelines for the WIC program; professional medical charting techniques; basic math and English grammar; medical records documentation procedures.
Some knowledge of: Principles, techniques and practices of nutrition and dietetics; methods to identify and treat nutritional problems; community resources.
Skill to: Identify nutritional needs associated with low income, and culturally diverse individuals; use effective client centered counseling and interview techniques; interpret WIC program rules and regulations of eligibility based on income and county residency; provide health and nutrition information based on best practice; type concise chart notes; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; deliver effective oral presentations; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, clients and the public; maintain accurate and systematic records; conduct basic nutritional assessments; use scales, measuring devices and simple laboratory equipment.
This position involves exposure to bodily fluids and routine contact with individuals who have communicable diseases.
Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.
Must pass a pre-employment drug test.
Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.
MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS
Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.