The Right Recipe for a Career in Dietetics
Reflecting on 35 Years as a Registered Dietitian
By Rose Ann, RD
With National Nutrition Month upon us, I’m reminded of why I enjoy what I do. I grew up in an Italian household where I awoke on Sunday morning to tomato sauce bubbling on the stove and homemade pasta drying on the chairs. My fondest memories are centered on cooking and sharing food with family. I originally wanted to pursue a career in nutrition based on this passion. However, as I’ve grown and matured in my career, working in multiple settings over the past 35 years, I’ve learned that working as a dietitian means so much more than I once thought.
Over the course of my career I have provided nutrition care to patients of all ages in long-term care, acute care, dialysis settings, home health care, and in private consulting. At one point I specialized in nutrition care for women’s health and pregnancy. I’ve had the rewarding privilege of co-authoring a book, Eating for Pregnancy, a nutrition guide and cookbook for moms-to-be. I am currently employed at an 800 + acute care hospital. My responsibilities include nutrition support, nutrition care plans and education for surgical patients including gynecology surgery. Besides the challenge of the nutrition support for my patient’s, I also look forward to expanding this key message of healthy eating to all people on a national level with the celebration of National Nutrition Month every year.
As dietitians, we use this opportunity as a platform to promote the importance of nutrition and well-being to the public, and this year will be no different. This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” which reminds us that every forkful counts. Even small adjustments and tweaks to our eating habits can improve our health and well-being. Making small changes gradually can lead to big life differences. As dietitians, we take pride and pleasure in sharing our expertise with others, so that they can take ownership of their health and lead happier lives. As dietitians, if all of us across the nation try to make a difference in someone else’s life everyday, we all have the opportunity to be the reason why someone decides to make a lifelong change for the better and take part in something bigger than ourselves. What an empowering thought. Let’s take advantage of this month to promote better health in our communities far and wide, while recognizing our registered dietitian nutritionists as committed food and nutrition experts.