My dad is an optometrist and since I was not placed in an internship, I decided to try to go to school for that. I had to take about 5-7 classes in order to qualify to apply for optometry school. I decided to take these classes at a community college and hated it. I was taking physics, chemistry, biology, etc. I knew that I was not happy with this but was not sure what to do.
Later that day, I got a call from a high-up manager in the company asking me to come in for a job interview. I found out that the job was actually in Southwest Michigan, 3 1/2 hours from where we were wanting to move. I took the interview anyways for experience. Something felt so amazing and so right about it.
See, I knew that I was meant to be a dietitian. I love food. I love nutrition. I love the healing power of food in disease and disease prevention. Everything felt perfect once I started this job. I think that it is important to pick a field to go into that has jobs and that you can make money but it is also very important to pick something that you love. Dietetics is where I am meant to be and I cannot imagine a better field for me.
I remember being nervous to tell my dad that I was not going to do optometry but he (and my mom) completely supported me. We ended up buying a mobile home 25 minutes from my job and I worked there for two years.
I didn't write about this much when I worked at that job but it was a very, very demanding job. I was on call 24/7 and if a cook or dietary aide called in, I was expected to get there ASAP to fill in. This was very stressful because if I was out of town or did not answer the phone right away, the resident's would have to wait to eat. I was treated poorly at this job and got calls all through the night. It taught me so, so much about what I wanted in a job and what I did not. I was 20 years old when I was hired at this job and there, I really grew as a person. I believe that everything happens for a reason and it was meant to be that I applied to this particular job.
The reason that I stuck with it was to be able to get my dietetic internship and because of an amazing mentor named Bonnie. She was the corporate dietitian and she taught me so, so much about how to be a professional, about keeping a kitchen clean, about clinical dietetics, etc. Most of all, she was a friend and someone that I could look to for guidance on any topic. I looked up to her a lot and still do!
I applied for my dietetic internship and was placed at Western Michigan University. I went through a variety of rotations including a hospital, school, nursing home, private practice, renal rotation, etc. I took the test to become an RD and passed the RD exam! I finished my Master's degree a year later from WMU.
When I finished my internship, I knew that I wanted to continue to work in long term care. I loved helping the elderly people and there was always so much going on. I found a job at a nursing home and have since switched nursing homes. I have been at my current job for about 2 years. I work with patients who are losing weight, are on dialysis, have a feeding tube, wounds, diabetes, heart disease and with any nutritional issues.
Anyways, this post ended up being a lot longer than I imagined but as you can tell, I am passionate about what I do and think that working in a nursing home is a great place for a dietitian to be!
BestNursingHomes.com is a website that can help you find the best nursing home for your loved one and to help educate the public about skilled nursing care. The site is made possible by donations from John Sorensen and North American Health Care. “We are very grateful for the leadership of John Sorensen in the post-acute care industry. John is a leader in his field, a generous philanthropist, and a great example of someone who places serving the patient above anything else. We are proud to be associated with John and North American Health Care and grateful for his support to promote best practices in skilled nursing.” – Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Association for Skilled Nursing Providers
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BestNursingHomes.com. All opinions and experiences are my own.