This page gives you a brief description of my experiences and education.
I studied Nutrition and Dietetics at West Chester University. During my four years there, I learned a lot about the human body- it’s anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. I also learned about microorganisms and disease, in addition to my core nutrition classes. These core classes combined everything I learned in my science classes, and then added in the roles of all the different nutrient’s have in the body, how to assess nutritional status, what each disesase means for your nutritional status, and how this status effects your overall health and recovery time when in the hospital.
After I finished my degree at West Chester, I went on to get my Master’s degree in Nutrition at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. This experience built on my previous knowledge, teaching it in a new and more in-depth way. I also learned a little bit of the politics of nutrition in society.
As part of my graduate study, I did a practicum as field experience with Interfaith Food Shuttle. Interfaith Food Shuttle is a food bank where many different grocery stores donate food that they don’t need on their shelves. They have many great programs going including mobile farmer’s markets, Operation Fronline, and Back-Pack Buddies. I was in charge of running healthy food demonstrations at mobile farmer’s markets. My job was to make a healthy recipe that is inexpensive and relatively easy to make. I also taught a class for Operation Frontline. Operation Frontline brings cooking-based nutrition classes to low-income families. The class I taught was for special-needs adults. I taught about MyPyramid, food labels, each of the main food groups, and food budgeting, and we also took them on a supermarket tour. If you want to learn more about Operation Frontline, check out their blog . I also headed the local campaign for the Pound for Pound challenge. Working with The Biggest Loser, this campaign asked for pledges of pounds to lose. For every pound pledged, a pound of food was donated to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. I created a facebook page, put up flyers, and sent out emails to help recruit for this cause. I also created a youtube video to inspire people to get active to stay on track with losing the pounds they pledged. For my projects completed at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, I was recognzed as a Catalyst for Change by Meredith College.
After I received my Master’s degree, I moved back up to New Jersey to complete my dietetic internship with ARAMARK. I spent the first 5 months learning how to screen and assess patients for their nutritional status and then plan and make recommendations for their diet. I dealt with patients who had gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. I also handled complex cases, patients in critical care and on nutritional support (tube feedings), and patients with behavioral disturbances. The next 2 months were spent in the kitchen learning about management. This included leadership, menu planning, inventory, billing, payroll, safety and sanitation, as well as many other skills involved in working in a kitchen. My final month of the internship was a community rotation. During this rotation, I had the chance to hold group lectures about kidney disease prevention, as well as teach nutrition and disease prevention. I also taught a portion of a home-health aide course, which included describing the different diets that patients are put on such as cardiac, diabetic, renal (kidney disease), and the different textures of the diets for patients with chewing or swallowing problems. In addition to my 40-hour work week, I wrote a 42 page paper on the medical nutrition therapy involved with liver disease, I conducted research and wrote a paper on it, I created and implemented a business plan, and I created a nutrition-intervention program for the elderly in community settings.
Once I was done with my Dietetic Internship, my last step was to take the registration exam. I studied very hard for about 7 weeks, and finally took it and passed in July 2011. It was a long road, but I finally made it!
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