DaVita dietitian Allison from Florida wanted to be involved in sports nutrition until she had the opportunity to learn about renal nutrition while working in a hospital. “The kidneys are such powerhouses, they actually fascinate me!” shares Allison. Today, this Michigan native is still learning more about kidneys and what they do. She’s enjoying her career with DaVita because, "I am encouraged to be creative and think outside of the box. My facility administrator is right there by my side being just as crazy,” says Allison.
When it comes to working with her chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis, Allison feels she makes the biggest difference in their lives by educating them about the benefits of being compliant on the renal diet and taking their medications, such as phosphorus binders. Patient compliance can be challenging,so the greatest reward for Allison is when patients start to do better because they understand why it's important. Allison has found that being easygoing and an avid listener not only helps in educating patients but also results in enjoyable interactions.
Allison’s passion for kidneys and devotion to her patients show up in her wacky and creative ways of teaching. “I incorporate a skeleton (Mr. Happy Bones) whenever I can to remind my patients to take their phosphorus binders and why. Everyone likes happy bones!” In fact, Allison says her patients have started calling her “Bones.” “I have skeletons on my lab coat to remind patients that their bones are directly affected by their medication and diet compliance. The control is in their hands.”
For dialysis patients needing some extra protein in their renal diet, Allison shares her recipe for High Protein Piña Colada. It's a refreshing, tropical flavor that’s quick and easy to prepare. Enjoy this snack anytime, especially in the summertime when you need something to help keep your cool.