Niki, do you think a "Certified Health Counselor" would get clients or, as an RD, do you think it's not taken seriously? I know they don't work in hospitals, doctors, etc...but with people looking to prevent problems or overall health? Honest, please : )
Honestly I have no idea, because I am not familiar with what exactly a Certified Health Counselor is. I'm sure that if you have your own business, you will find your own following. I know I am biased, but with having the RD credential, it frees you to get more clients since insurance can cover some costs, and it will get you in more doors professionally. If you are wanting to work with, say, a chiropractor or other "alternative" medicine practitioners it probably would work.
Just remember that while in school you have to learn all the different nutrition things (including diabetes, heart disease, etc.), once you are out, you can do what you want with it. You don't have to work with sick people in a hospital. There are a ton of avenues you can take with an RD, and you have the legal backing with it. Plus, for all of those interested in changing all of these policies that need to be changed (i.e. big meat companies trying to force their hand on the infamous food guide pyramid), its us who they look to.
But, again, I am not familiar with the CHC enough to know how that works.
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