A Day in the Life of a Home Care Dietitian
By Lynsey Mossop
Life is like a
box of chocolate
... bag of mixed vegetables?...
you never know what you’re going to get next.
Expect the unexpected. That is one of the many
lessons I have learned as a home care dietitian. When I first started working in home care I had little clue for how vast and varied this job would be. I feel fortunate to work with such a broad demographic: from newborns to people 100 years of age, and everyone in between.
The daily grind starts in my home office. I love
my home office with a printer and a cup of coffee all within arm’s reach. I check for new referrals, book appointments, gather basic assessment information, and print the handouts I need for the day. From here, I make my way to my second office: my car. I spend a lot of time on the road and I have really made it work. I can use my laptop, fax, conference call and complete paperwork all from the comfort of a Tim Horton’s parking lot. I’m sure many of you can relate.
Referrals can ebb and flow making my days look different depending on my workload. Take Friday, for example: I spent the day sipping on coffee and catching up on chart notes. Then, on Monday, I felt like the whole world was discharged from hospital. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but the referrals poured in and the clients couldn’t be any different. I drove from the home of an elderly man living with dysphagia to the home of infant with a cow’s milk allergy. I monitored a client on an enteral feed and assisted someone on their weight loss journey. Then I visited with a spouse of a client who is nearing the end of life. The ability to switch gears between the varying needs of my clients is definitely something I’ve had to work on. I am always researching, self reflecting, reading about therapeutic diets and reaching out to other dietitians for guidance.
What I can I say is, my days on the road are rarely the same. There are days where the road is smooth and things go as planned. And other days I am challenged to broaden my scope to meet the needs of the home care world. Nevertheless, one thing is certain, home care feels like home
Lynsey Mossop is a registered dietitian with a love for bringing people together with food. Originally from Nova Scotia, she now practices Home Care in Southeast Ontario. In this role she strives to help clients improve their health from their very own kitchen.
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