DaVita dietitian Beth still loves working with her patients today as much as she did 11 years ago when she began her career in renal dietetics. “I really enjoy getting to know my patients,” she shares. “They have a wide variety of health issues, backgrounds, and personalities andit’s so rewarding when patients are ready to make a change to improve their health.”
Beth first realized that nutrition was the field for her while attending Iowa State University. “I had a strong interest in health and science and wanted to help other people,” she recalls. “Then during my internship, I knew that clinical dietetics was the general area where I wanted to work.”
Today Beth loves being able to tailor the education needs of her patients while working as a team with the patients, social workers, nurses, techs and physicians. She also likes to use new approaches to help patients achieve normal labs. “Instead of just handing out samples of protein powder, I’ve done some taste testing so patients could try out different flavors and products. I made high-protein, crisp rice squares and blended nutrition supplement drinks with the powder, adding additional protein.”
Since joining DaVita two years ago, Beth strives to make sure patients understand why they have a renal diet, and helps them find ways to enjoy their favorite foods. She also advises her patients to become involved in their medical care and ask questions so they’ll know what areas they need to work on.
“I want my patients to be informed and in charge of their own diet choices. I think it is important for them to have all the information and tools they need to manage a diet for dialysis.” Beth adds, “I really encourage patients who have high phosphorus or potassium levels to keep striving to improve because I recognize that the diet is challenging and we ask them to follow the diet everyday.”
Try Beth’s Chicken Vegetable Linguine—it’s an easy way to follow a renal diet and still enjoy your favorite foods.