Yesterday was my last day at work. Working as a dietetic technician, registered (DTR) at a long-term care/rehabilitation center has been an extremely rewarding experience.
To be completely honest, I spent a good amount of time this morning writing a lovely post about how saying goodbye to the residents was the hardest part of leaving this job…
…and then safari quit on me, and I lost the post.
Note to Self/Blogger lesson #1 – write all posts in word, then copy to the blog.
Such a disappointment, and I just don’t have it in me to re-write at this time. Perhaps another day, another post. Instead….
A day-in-the-life of a Long Term Care/Rehab Center Dietetic Technician
8 a.m. – arrive at work. Get coffee/tea. Punch in and check my mailbox in the front office for admission alerts and labs from dialysis centers.
Log on my computer. Look at the weekly calendar that tells me whose assessment I need to do, print blank nutrition assessment forms. Make the corporate/regional registered dietitian aware of any new admissions receiving enteral nutrition.
9 a.m. – attend morning management meeting if the dietary manager is out for the day. Complete MDS documentation on assessments previously completed.
10 a.m. and on – Tuesday’s and Thursday’s: care plan meetings with family members and patients which usually lasted until 1 p.m. . Friday: weekly/monthly weight meeting.
Start filling out blank assessment forms with diet info, diagnoses, labs, medications, oral status, skin issues. Search for charts. Finish any uncompleted assessments from the day before. Visit patients/residents who need education, welcome new admissions. Let the speech therapist know about anyone who may need to be seen for dysphagia management.
12:30 p.m. – take a quick walk through the dining room. Collect feedback on the food, note any dietary concerns (not eating, coughing, etc). Maybe do a test tray or audit.
1:30 p.m. – take a 30 minute lunch break
2 p.m. and on – finish completing assessments and address concerns (so-and-so wants their snack in the evening instead of in the afternoon, etc). Order supplements (Ensure, Glucerna, Nepro) and clarify diet orders. Call Dialysis Center dietitians if necessary. Rounds to visit my assigned residents to discuss any concerns and visit.
4 p.m. – head home!
To summarize, my job responsibilities via my resume:
• Medical Nutrition Therapy: Evaluate the nutritional status and dietary needs of 120 rehabilitation and long-term care patients, developing and implementing care plans. Collaborate with family members and an interdisciplinary team to proactively manage patient care including unintended weight loss, enteral nutrition and wound healing.
• Food service: Routinely inspect food service areas for compliance with company standards, local, state and federal regulations. Conduct in-service trainings and take part in the recruiting process for dietary staff while maintaining a supervisory role in the absence of the dietary manager.