The renal field was the only opening in dietetics available to Gertrude in her
“The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing patients live as healthy and active a lifestyle as possible. I help to make a difference by working along with them to include foods they like into their meal plans.”
The single most important thing patients can do to improve their health, in Gertrude’s opinion, is to act on their caregiver’s advice. “I think it’s important to keep present with patients — to make sure they know you are available even if it is a day you are stuck at the computer, it’s important to be seen on the dialysis floor, too.”
Gertrude has been with DaVita for three years. “The most surprising thing I’ve learned is not to take patients at face value. Get to know them and they can really surprise you. There is a gentleman here who always says goodbye to everyone as he’s leaving. This happened after the unexpected and sudden demise of another patient. So he always wants to wish everyone well before he leaves.”
Gertrude enjoys the aspect of working with patients over time, as opposed to an acute care unit where she might see them one time and never again. “I describe my approach as easygoing and cajoling. I’m not the ‘food police.’ I always say my job is teaching patients how to cheat on their meal plan.”
For some people a delicious dessert may sound like a “cheat,” but some dialysis patients need to get extra calories in their kidney diet and Gertrude’s Bavarian Apple Torte is a tasty way to add them. Every now and then we all crave a rich and filling dessert. Bavarian Apple Torte is kidney-friendly, delicious and can be enjoyed by the whole family.