Dynamic Clinical Consultant Dietitian: Anita Klimanis, RD, LDN
A strong clinical foundation is what Anita Klimanis, RD, LDN credits for her ability stay calm, cool and collected as she changes jobs up to seven times each year.
Anita is a clinical consultant dietitian who works short-term assignments to cover a vacancy, maternity leave, FMLA or other dietitian absence in hospitals or nursing homes — sites that are mandated to have a dietitian on staff at all times.
“The years of clinical knowledge help when you’re under pressure to get started right away,” Anita said.
For the past three years she’s moved in and out of acute care and long-term care positions every couple months, usually covering for a vacancy or open position.
“Each assignment is a little different and usually I don’t find out exactly what my responsibilities will be until the first day,” Anita said.
Right out of her internship, Anita worked for three years in a hospital, followed by four years in a long-term care position. She’s loves that her consultant positions now switch between both acute care and long-term care, allowing her to maintain both skill sets.
Why clinical dietetics?
For Anita, a career as a dietitian came about as a matter of practicality. She always had an interest in food and nutrition growing up, and when she took a general nutrition course in college and realized you could make a career out of nutrition, she was sold.
“There are just so many different ways to specialize and settings you could work in” Anita said of the dietetics career path.
Soon after she completed that first nutrition course, Anita had a real-life encounter with the power of nutrition.
Anita’s grandmother was diagnosed with dementia and began to lose weight. A dietitian recommended supplements and a pureed diet and Anita saw her grandmother was able to maintain her weight because of those changes.
“You could see she wasn’t tolerating a regular diet and the pureed diet really made a positive difference,” Anita said. “And you could see in her later stages of life food made her happy, and that’s important across the board in the geriatric population.” Anita said.
It’s a small (dietetic) world
Anita loves that working as a consultant dietitian allows her to meet so many other dietitians.
“The dietetic world is so small,” she said.
In her three years as a consultant dietitian for Dietitians On Demand, Anita has worked 16 different assignments in the Baltimore, MD area, and she often runs into the same people.
On one assignment Anita worked with a dietitian she had worked with at her very first hospital job. At another she worked with someone she had precepted.
Through all the different facilities and relationships, Anita has learned best practices when it comes to clinical skills, management styles, onboarding and training.
Anita says it can be challenging to have a first day of work multiple times per year, so she’s learned to be adaptable.
“The first few days are always a transition,” Anita said.
Learning new names, different charting systems, a new user name and password combination and very little training can be tough, but on the flip side, Anita has picked up skills she wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
Anita learned to manage electrolytes in TPN, used a BIA machine and often functions as an integral piece of the interviewing, hiring and training process to find a site’s permanent dietitian.
All-in-all, Anita loves wearing so many different hats without actually changing her job. The variety she encounters keeps her motivated and for the foreseeable future, Anita’s job duties from month-to-month will be unpredictable, just how she likes it.
By Heidi Williams, Dietitians On Demand
Dietitians On Demand is a nationwide staffing and recruiting company for registered dietitians, specializing in short-term, temporary and permanent-hire positions in acute care, long term care, food service positions and anywhere else a dietitian works. We’re dedicated to dietitians and helping them enhance their practice and excel in the workplace. Check out our job openings, request your coverage, or visit our store today!
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Dietitians On Demand is the nationwide leader in providing dietitians with jobs they love. If flexibility, competitive pay, a full benefits package, free CPEUs each month and a team dedicated to dietitians sound good to you, apply to our positions today.