So it’s been a little bit since I last posted, but it’s because of work. I actually had a change in work that took me off of my normal blog posting schedule and I feel like this is a good way to let me tell everyone about my full time job. So here we go…I am a Registered Dietitian (RD) and more specifically I am a Renal Dietitian, I’ll get back to that in a minute, but here are the steps to becoming and RD:
- Get a Bachelor’s degree in food science, nutrition, or public health.
- Before finishing your degree you can start applying for internship programs. This is mandatory and you can not sit for the RD exam if you do not do an internship.
- Side note – getting into an internship is very competitive.
- Another route you can do, which I did, was get into a Master’s program that has an internship integrated into the Master’s program.
- Complete your internship
- Study for the RD exam
- Take and pass the exam
- Congratulations! You are now an RD
This was taken when I was working at the hospital and we had a farmer’s market in the parking lot. Next to me was my fellow RD and coworker. She was the RD that trained me in pediatrics.
Working at the hospital still at the time, but doing some community outreach and nutrition education. I loved and still love doing community outreach. Not much outreach in the dialysis world, but I do it every chance I get.
Since becoming an RD, I first did two years in the hospital and then transitioned into the world of dialysis, where a machine performs the function of your kidneys when your kidneys fail. There are many avenues an RD can take, but I chose the clinic path. I’ve been a renal dietitian for 3 years now, but recently got an offer to be the Food Service Director for a nursing home. Food service is something I learned about, but never did and it was in a managerial position, to which I wanted so that I can gain that type of experience and move up in my career. Hence, this is where my hiatus from blogging stemmed from. Being the food service director was very demanding and on top of that I was transitioning to being the facilities in-house RD (nursing facilities typically contract RDs). In the end, that position didn’t pan out and I was only there for 2 months and now I’m back at my old position as a renal dietitian in the same dialysis clinic (they took me back, phew).Here is a list of my main duties as a renal RD in no particular order:
- Review monthly nutrition labs (blood work) with patients.
- Educate new patient on a renal diet and fluid restriction
- Ongoing education and re-education with all patients
- Make mineral bone disorder medication dose adjustments
- Hectorol (vitamin D)
- Put patients on protein supplements as appropriate
- Manage weights and fluids
- Work with the doctor, the nurses, the dialysis techs, and social worker as an interdisciplinary team to support and improve patients care and well being.
Anyways, I’m sure I’m leaving some duties out, but I think that’s a pretty good list.If I’ve failed to leave things out or if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know and ask away.Hope you enjoyed!