Marlene, a DaVita dietitian from Florida, not only treats her dialysis patients, but mothers them too. She always has their best interests at heart and even gets firm when need be. Like all good mothers, Marlene believes yummy treats are important in any diet and her Super Fruit Smoothie recipe doesn’t disappoint. This delightful, cool and creamy beverage is packed with protein and frozen fruit. Nepro® with Carb Steady™, a nutrition supplement designed to help meet the needs of patients on dialysis, is the base for this treat. Marlene’s smoothie will tickle the taste buds and give the body helpful nutrients to stay healthy.
Becoming a renal dietitian was not a coincidence for Marlene. “I became a dietitian because I wanted to find out more about nutrition after working in food service for more than 16 years. Personal family reasons led me to the renal field. I needed to educate myself,” she shares.
Marlene treats her patients like family and they face each challenge together. “It’s hard getting patients to understand the negative effects of not adhering to their diet and treatment plans. I try to make a difference in their lives by reeducating and reinforcing until patients understand the importance of improving their health. The single most important thing a patient can do to improve their health is change negative behavior.”
Being a motherly figure is natural for Marlene. “My teammates say I am a mother hen with my chicks. They see how I care what happens to my patients and they tell me that I am a good dietitian. I really enjoy teaching my patients and having them get more focused on health maintenance. The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing patients work at improving their health.”
While Marlene’s maternal manner comes from her heart, it can sometimes have unexpected results. “My approach is caring, but sometimes it’s too ‘mother-like’ because my patients either hide what they are eating or I hear them saying ‘Marlene said I can’t have that,’ which may be a negative sometimes. However, I’ve found some helpful tools, like giving little gifts and certificates when they meet their phosphorus and calcium goals, encourage them in other ways.”
Even when Marlene’s patients hit bumps in the road, she and her DaVita team are always there to help put them back on track. “My DaVita dialysis center is special because of our good team collaboration.” Marlene is new to the medical field and has made some personal breakthroughs. “I surprised myself. I can tolerate seeing blood without passing out.”
You may be surprised at how easy it is to add more protein to your dialysis diet. Marlene’s Super Fruit Smoothie is the perfect way to up your protein and tantalize your taste buds.
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