Dietitians are professionals who specialize in the field of nutrition. They can work as public or private consultants: for businesses, hospitals, schools, governments, really any setting in which a licensed expert is needed to evaluate and make recommendations about the health of certain foods. In general, dietitians support healthy eating and advise people or groups of people toward meal plans that are beneficial for their well being and lifestyle. Registered dietitian nutritionists design nutrition programs to protect health, prevent allergic reactions and alleviate the symptoms of many types of disease. Clinical dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy for patients in institutions such as hospitals and nursing care facilities. To succeed in this role, the dietitian needs to have compassion for every client’s well-being. This compassion contributes to effective listening and problem-solving. Excellent listening skills help dietitians understand and respond to the specific needs of each client. About 11 percent of dietitians and nutritionists were self-employed in 2012.