Polly from North Carolina works at a DaVita center that is located near her family. The opportunity to see her relatives regularly, reminds Polly how important family support is for patients to succeed on their kidney diets. “I pick up the phone routinely to speak with a family member about nutrition concerns. I have found this improves lab results for the patient,” states Polly. Even if a kidney patient doesn’t have family nearby, Polly and the professionals at her small DaVita center try to provide support.
One of the reasons Polly became a dietitian is because she enjoys, “helping people understand the truth about diets, dietary supplements and disease care that is in the media.” In addition to her passions for science, human metabolism and reading the research behind standards of practice, Polly takes an interest in each of her patients as individuals. “I make it a point to greet the patients daily when I come to the clinic. It’s a joy to get to know the patient and their family personally,” shares Polly.
“A smile and soft tone goes a long way,” says Polly about her approach to working with patients. “In this area of North Carolina, using Mrs. or Mr. is respectful and polite, no matter their age.” Polly adds, “I usually praise a patient for good diet control and discuss control problems and educate if necessary.” Polly also recommends that the best thing a patient can do is go to all of their dialysis treatments and utilize the resource people at their DaVita center.
Understanding that educating patients about phosphorus control and protein status improvement can be challenging, Polly likes using her creativity to come up with new ways to help patients get to target goals. “I try to make a difference by providing resources for protein products at prices patients can afford,” states Polly, adding, “Going to retail stores to find bargains is part of my job weekly.” Besides this, Polly shares information on a product of the month, when she can, as she distributes the patient’s nutrition report. She also finds that patients anticipate the goody bags provided at the holidays and states that food tastings are popular. Polly summarizes, “Food, in general, is popular with our patients.”
Polly shares her recipe for Pimento Cream Cheese Sandwiches that she has prepared for her DaVita center dialysis patients. Polly has a lot of practice creating her own dishes that help her renal patients increase stay healthy and happy. This Pimento Cream Cheese Sandwiches recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy a tasty lunch, and for those who need added protein, there’s the option to add whey protein.