Suzette has been a DaVita renal dietitian since October 2007. She became a dietitian to enrich people’s lives by educating them on food choices and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The renal field holds a special place in her heart. “I love the challenge that renal disease presents. I also love seeing the same patients day to day and cheering them on as they reach their goals,” says Suzette.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a renal dietitian is patient compliance with diet and medication. Suzette is never one to back down from that challenge – in fact; she has used the DaVita Core Value of fun and her own interactive approach to help educate patients about their dietary guidelines. “I feel that patients learn more from interaction than lecturing. I have three clinics. Once a month at a different clinic I hold a party (i.e., Super Bowl Tailgate Party, Valentine’s Day Party, and St. Patrick’s Day Party). Low-phosphorous snacks are provided and we play ‘Phosphorous Bingo’ and discuss high-phosphorous foods and what makes them high in phosphorous. If the patients can determine why the food is high in phosphorous, they are more likely to remember to limit this food,” explains Suzette.
Not only are Suzette’s patients learning, they are also leading the charge when it comes to fun. “I had a Tailgate Party at one of my DaVita clinics. We had signs posted and encouraged the patients to wear team jerseys or colors of their favorite teams. We had one patient who came in a Santa suit, wearing a Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers shirt underneath, and also an LSU Santa hat. He passed out suckers to all the patients and teammates. It is great to have a patient that will participate and encourage other patients to participate in activities. After he left the clinic, one patient said, ‘I love having these parties, because it helps to break up the same routine, day after day.’ This is what we are here for — to provide care in a fun and educational environment,” states Suzette.
Thanks to Suzette’s expert cheerleading and coaching, many of her patients take an active role in their treatment. “If patients become interested and involved in their health care then they will be successful. If the patients are not interested in learning how to better themselves, then they will be at a standstill,” she observes. “The most surprising thing I have learned is that the majority of my patients want to be involved in their care and want to feel better, but they have no idea where to begin. This is where I step in with education and games to help educate the patients,” says Suzette. This approach has led to great results. Suzette explains, “When patients’ labs are normal, they feel better. I feel rewarded when patients feel a difference in their daily activities.”
Suzette is passionate about the care and service she provides to her patients. “I love planning activities, and watching the patients having fun while learning. I love seeing their faces when they reach their goal each month. I have never worked for a company that allows me to have fun while working. DaVita feels like one great big family!”
Bake a cake for your great family. Try Suzette’s secret family recipe to satisfy a craving for something sweet and delicious. Everyday Cake is best served warm. Right out of the oven is best, so you can also enjoy the mouthwatering aroma.
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