Dear Dietitians On Demand: A Travel Dietitian’s Story

By Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC

Ever wonder what it’s like to work as a traveling dietitian for Dietitians On Demand? Here’s a glimpse into my experience as I started my eighth travel assignment.

June 27, 2018

Today I signed the contract for my eighth travel assignment to … (drumroll, please)…Oklahoma! This will be my first time in the Sooner State. I feel like I should learn the chorus to the song from “Oklahoma,” the musical. They probably sing that every day in Oklahoma, right?

June 28, 2018

Prep work begins for my new assignment. Oklahoma is too far away to drive, so I’ll be flying and driving a rental car instead. And I’ll need a place to stay. Time to do some serious budgeting! Even though I receive a per diem to cover travel expenses, I need to be smart with my money to make it last throughout the six-week assignment.

After calling around, I found a cool loft-type vacation home to rent near the Wichita Mountains and even negotiated the price down to better suit my budget. Score!

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July 2, 2018

Sitting down to work on my Oklahoma license application … Funny how some states just ask for a signature on a form and others want all but your firstborn child (ahem, I’m looking at YOU, Oklahoma!). But I press on, as my mental soundtrack plays, “Ooooklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…”.

July 5, 2018

Health Department for PPD? Check.

Notary for licensure forms? Check.

More licensure paperwork? Check.

Notary again …don’t ask. Check.


July 12, 2018

Time to unleash the trusty packing list. As the Type A Super-Organizer that I am, I have been using the same master packing list since my second travel job. It’s been tweaked here and there, but helps me avoid overpacking and ensure I will never again forget my contact lenses. (Yes, that happened.)

When I fly to my assignments, packing is a bit more tricky. Everything has to be contained in actual suitcases, rather than a hodgepodge of stuff tossed into the trunk of my car. And sadly, my CrockPot and MyPillow have to stay home. But I have successfully conquered packing, yet again!

July 15, 2018

It’s go-time! After my first flight was delayed, I found myself sprinting through the Atlanta airport to connect with my second flight to Oklahoma City. I made it, though! Then the travel gods smiled on me when my suitcases were among the first coming through the baggage claim and there was no line at the rental car desk!

My rental house was easy to find and very cute. I even have some patio chairs to enjoy the outdoors. …when it’s not 108 degrees. I grabbed dinner at a restaurant down the street and got some blackberry cobbler to-go. Now to unpack, make a grocery list, and get ready for tomorrow.

It’s official when the name badge is issued!

July 16, 2018

*First day* Received my name badge. Trained with the EMR. Toured the hospital. Met the kitchen staff. Typical first day activities. But the BEST news of the day is my two new amazing coworkers, Hanna and Ashley.

Being short-staffed has taken its toll, but these gals are smart, resilient, and super cool. We laughed today like old friends, and I have no doubt we’ll make a killer team. While walking down the hall today, Hanna mentioned that she already felt relieved and less stressed. Yep, this assignment is going to be a good one.

Sara (left) had time to do some exploring with fellow dietitian Ashley while on assignment in Oklahoma.


Looking for more travel dietitian resources?

Find out how Sara beats loneliness on the road

How to become a DOD Traveling Dietitian

Sometimes traveling throws you a curveball


Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, Malnutrition Awareness

Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC is a travel dietitian for Dietitians On Demand. She is passionate about empowering dietitians to be more involved with the interdisciplinary healthcare team. Her favorite adventures while on assignment include: The 17-Mile Drive in Monterey, CA; Lake Placid, NY; Montreal, Canada; and of course, the Jelly Belly® Jelly Bean and Ben & Jerry’s® ice cream factories located in Fairfield, CA and Burlington, VT, respectively.

Dietitians On Demand is a nationwide staffing company for Registered Dietitians. Traveling dietitians offer an additional service to our clients, getting them immediate coverage, even in remote locations. Request coverage or search job openings today!