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so you want to be a nutritionist…{day in the life of an RD part 2}

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Things have been quiet here this week in light of Boston and my heart is still heavy. Sending love and prayers.

{Today is the last installment of the so you want to be a nutritionist post – part 1 | part 2 – I hope you have enjoyed learning more about what dietitians actually do!}

Hello, my name is Amanda Hernandez and I am a registered dietitian that blogs at The Nutritionist Reviews. I am happy to be here to share with you what I do as a dietitian and what a typical day looks like for me.

I work full time at a nursing home as a long term care dietitian. I did not originally plan to work in long term care but I love it.

When I first graduated college with my bachelor’s degree in dietetics, I was not matched to an internship the first time. I was devastated but kept working toward my goal to become a RD. I found a full time job where I worked as a Certified Dietary Manager in a nursing home which was a similar position to my current one. About a year and a half later, I was matched to an internship and became an RD in July 2012.

At my job in the nursing home, I get to see and do so many different things. Here is what a typical day looks like for me:

I arrive at work at 6:45 AM. When I first get to work, I usually check my email, catch up on any new admissions and discharges and check the FAR (Food Acceptance Record- shows how much the residents are eating). At 9 AM, I attend a daily morning meeting with the management staff and right after is our clinical meeting. In the clinical meeting, weight loss, falls, pain, behavioral and clinical issues are discussed with the care team.

The rest of my day varies a lot depending on what is going on with my residents. Some of the things that I do are:

  • New admission assessments where I look at resident’s diagnoses, diet, weight history, labs, medications and nutritional needs. 
  • MDS assessments and care plans
  • Log and chart on weight loss and gain
  • Add supplements to resident’s diets as needed to meet nutritional needs
  • Calculate and monitor tube feeding
  • Ensure that resident’ s with wounds are getting proper nutrition
  • Work on food service issues (this is not often because the dietary manager mostly handles food service)
  • Do quality assurance audits where I explore ways that we can improve our current systems.
  • Attend resident care conferences with family members where we discuss the plan of care for the resident and solve any issues going on. 

As you can see, I do all kinds of different tasks which helps to keep my day interesting. I love what I do and would highly recommend checking out long term care positions for anyone who is a RD or who is interested in becoming a RD. Many new dietitians do not think that they would enjoy working in a nursing home but it is a great option. I get to use many of my clinical skills and nutrition knowledge.

After work, I often work on my blog, The Nutritionist Reviews or write nutrition articles for Demand Studios.

If you have any questions about becoming a dietitian or about what I do, please feel free to email me achernandez711@yahoo.com.

A big thanks to Emily for letting me guest post on her blog!

{Thank you Amanda for sharing your story and what a typical day for you looks like! Stay in touch with Amanda here: facebook | twitter}

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