Starting the day with a healthy breakfast and a positive attitude, may just make your whole day brighter. Colleen, a DaVita renal dietitian from Texas, shares her sure to please breakfast recipe for Egg in a Hole. This sunny dish provides much needed protein for dialysis patients the first meal of the day. Enjoy a warm egg, cooked to your liking, inside toast. It’s quick and easy to make.
Colleen’s first career choice was to be in education. “My plans were to be a Home Economics teacher and my counselor in college suggested I change my major to Dietetics,” she shares. Colleen’s natural ability to combine education and nutrition make her an effective renal dietitian, although she didn’t enter the renal field at first. Colleen states, “After years of working in the nursing home field, some fellow dietitians encouraged me to try the renal area.”
Now Colleen makes a positive difference in her patient’s lives. “Oh yes, my patients know how much I care about them,” beams Colleen, adding, “I hope my efforts to educate them and help them live full and healthy lives does make an impact. I try to approach my patients with a sense of humor and find something about them that is unique. Getting to know them is my favorite part.”
Making her patient’s appointments as fun as possible is a top priority with Colleen and her DaVita teammates. “In 2007 we had ‘Theme Days’ once a month including: Mardi Gras, Rocking to the 50s, Hawaiian Luau, Back to School, not to mention some amazing holiday celebrations.”
Christmastime was especially wonderful at Colleen’s center. “All were busy — the patients needed to get home to finish their shopping and wrapping, while the teammates were trying to decorate the unit in their spare time. Suddenly, music that was so welcoming and warm filtered through the center. Sounds of a guitar and sweet voices of young children filled the front lobby. Christmas carolers were singing ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Up on the Roof Top.’ The teammates and many of the patients started singing familiar songs of their youth. One patient, who seldom responded, had a huge smile on her face. As the wave continued, refreshments of fresh apple slices with cranberry dip and wassail were handed out to the patients. The children helped the teammates pass out a reminder to the patients to take their phosphorus binders when they eat. It was a new approach and was met with a smile and thank you.”
The DaVita team at Colleen’s center has been extremely innovative in helping patients follow their diets and health plans. “We were the first center to purchase the phosphorus binder bracelets that say, ‘Love yourself — take your binders.’ It was our idea! We have a most creative social worker. She assists me with projects and has great ideas that we implement together.”
Not only does Colleen keep her patients on the right path by reminding them to take their prescribed medicines and eat well, she also focuses on their overall health. According to Colleen, “The single most important thing patients can do to improve their health is quit smoking.”
Colleen enjoys every aspect of her job, and it shows. “I love everything about DaVita — the support, education, encouragement and integrity of the company. I love the team work our center exhibits; DaVita fosters and encourages team work. My experience with other companies has been much different. It makes a world of difference with job satisfaction and maintaining a positive attitude in the work environment,” says Colleen.
Colleen believes the DaVita center location where she works is beautiful. “We are located in a small German town with two rivers running through it. Our town is located in the Hill Country of Texas. In the springtime, the hills are covered in Bluebonnets — so beautiful. We also host the largest German Festival in the United States (Wurstfest) in November each year and have the largest water park — Schlitterbahn Water Park.”
Colleen’s Egg in a Hole recipe is too easy not to make. Give her family’s favorite breakfast a try for your family’s first meal of the day, or if you enjoy breakfast later in the day, try it for lunch.