Remember those high school aptitude tests? The ones that suggested you go into either plumbing or astrophysics? Well for Terri, those tests actually worked. Her test results recommended becoming a dietitian and that’s exactly what she did.
After graduating from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, she completed an internship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Since joining DaVita 5 years ago, Terri has found her work as a dietitian to be both challenging and rewarding. “The most challenging aspect of my job is to motivate patients to eat the right foods so they will feel better,” Terri explains. “It is difficult to tell patients they may have to limit some of their favorite foods or change the way they have been eating for many years.” “However,” she adds, “it’s very rewarding watching patients feel better based on advice they receive, and seeing them happy with their lab results from their efforts.”
In today’s fast-paced world, Terri believes in using a personal approach with her patients. “I try to make a difference by not only talking to patients’ about their diets, but about their other interests and activities and getting to know them as individuals. I would like them to look forward to talking to me while they are on dialysis.”
Terri is also a big believer in DaVita’s team approach to caring for patients—one that has proven to be very successful over the years. “Our center was just awarded the Silver Cup for the highest DQI (DaVita Quality Index—a measure of performance for DaVita centers) score in the Westside division; this shows our team is working well together to achieve excellent patient outcomes!”
The recipe Terri shares with us was developed by a DaVita patient named Deborah who loved macaroni and cheese, yet couldn’t have the regular recipe due to the high phosphorus and sodium content. “She made this recipe, and brought it in for me to sample,” Terri says. “Recently, Deborah has received a transplant and called to tell me she can now have a regular diet, but feels a little guilty eating the foods she couldn’t have while on dialysis.”
There’s no guilt in enjoying this delicious renal-safe macaroni and cheese!