One of the best ways to widen the scope of your dietary enjoyment is to include dishes from other cultures. New ingredients and a different way of preparing food can perk up your appetite, and give your well-being a lift. Christie provides a recipe with an international flair—Armando’s Chili Rellenos.
Originally from Nevada, Christie has been a dietitian for almost ten years and has worked with DaVita for almost five of them. “I have experienced both inpatient and outpatient hospital settings,” Christie says. “And, I truly appreciate the balance that working in dialysis brings.” She states, “My favorite part is helping new patients understand diet and dialysis and seeing them start to feel better as a result. The most challenging aspect is continuously coming up with new ways to educate and motivate patients to adhere to the diet.”
Christie says, “The most rewarding aspect of my job is when the new ideas work. I also enjoy working with new patients and their families, because they are so eager to learn. I try to make a difference in patients’ lives by letting them know that I care about their health, and that what I teach will affect their quality of life. Christie admits that she most enjoys helping patients set realistic goals and shares in their pride when they achieve them. “My approach, when it comes to working with patients, is to be a good listener. I let patients know they are in charge of their health and that I am their coach.”
The most important thing patients can do to improve their health, according to Christie, is to be active in mind and body. “I find that when people have a sense of purpose, they take better care of themselves.”
Christie also has a light moment to share about work. “Once, while counseling a Spanish-speaking patient, and using my trusty Spanish dictionary, I mispronounced a word. It sounded like a slang word frequently used in Spanish. It wouldn’t have been so bad if my patient had been the only one to hear, but right next to me was the medical director, talking with another patient. My patient chuckled, then his patient began to chuckle, and before I knew it; it seemed as if the entire unit was in hysterics. It was great to see everyone laughing, but I was truly embarrassed. However, my patient and I had a great bond after that.”
DaVita provides constant educational opportunities for employees, and Christie says the most interesting thing she learned was about fistulas. There were several surgeons present, and a presentation was shown demonstrating fistula surgery. “It was interesting to see what goes on under the surface. I have a new appreciation for what patients go through during surgery.”
Finally, Christie comments, “I am fortunate to work with an excellent team that is dedicated to not only providing superior patient care, but also having fun!”
Give Christie’s international recipe a try—Armando’s Chili Rellenos—and take a vacation from same old, same old eating.