Renal Dietitians: What You Should Know
Posted in Articles by Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
Many people don’t fully understand the job of a renal dietitian and their role on a dialysis patient’s care team! There are two sides to the job: Clinical, and a more personal, one-on-one involvement with the education and support of the patient and their family. As far as clinical duties, renal dietitians study lab work, look at nutritional needs, review medications and other health issues and how they may impact diets, and collaborate with the rest of the healthcare team.
Although their clinical tasks are an integral part of care, the dietitian’s one-on-one involvement with the patient is also important! Dietitians ultimately want to ensure that the patient’s quality of life is as high as possible. They will sit down with their patients, get to know their struggles, concerns and what foods they enjoy most in an effort to try and work those foods into their diet in a safe way. Dietitians can also help patients who are juggling multiple diets for various conditions like diabetes or heart disease come up with the plan that works best for them.
They’ll collaborate alongside your social worker if you feel overwhelmed with your new dietary limitations or the financial strain of grocery shopping. The main goal of a renal dietitian is to decrease the burden of the diet on the patient as much as possible while promoting the best health overall. Your dietitian will try to keep your diet the same as before dialysis as much as they can, making changes one at a time based on the biggest dietary priorities.
DCI dietitians have taken on extra tasks on top of their normal workload in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, including doing COVID screenings, answering phones and other duties wherever there is a need. We are so grateful for all of our hardworking and dedicated dietitians! Happy Nutrition Month!