My RD Journey

From Undergrad -> Internship -> RD -> Private Practice!


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My First Week as a Supermarket Dietitian (And Free Materials)

My First Week as a Supermarket Dietitian (And Free Materials)

So, this was my first official week as being a Supermarket Dietitian and I loved it! I’m still training and shadowing people; however, the more I learn about the job, the more I am loving it. If you are the type of person who is an independent worker, loves doing different things each day, and is comfortable in the public, then this is a job for you! I am pretty excited that I will have a huge brown desk out on the floor of the store. I’ll also have a large storage area for all my nutrition materials. It is nice to finally have my own space at a job.The in-store events include produce picks (feature a fruit or vegetable, preferably on sale/in season with a recipe for taste testing), product sampling, easy dinner meal ideas (with a recipe sample), kid’s days, cooking classes, diabetes classes, weight-loss classes, etc. They also have counseling and individual store tours. They are always open to new ideas for newsletters, recipes, and programs. It is perfect for me since I have experience in running programs and I like trying new ideas out. I’m excited to be able to post “RD selection” stickers around the aisles. These will be products that fit a certain nutritional criteria and are a healthy option for consumers. Since my supermarket has a hot/cold food section to take items to go (or dine in), I will also have stickers there. It is an awesome feeling to know that I will be able to reach out and help people on such a large scale.

Another awesome thing about being in a supermarket is that you have connections with all the other supermarket RDs in your area. It is great to have such a huge network of RDs to be able to bounce ideas off of, swap materials, and support one another in our efforts.

For anyone that knows me personally, you know I love getting free nutrition materials. There are tons of websites that will send you coupons, handouts, and/or lessons for FREE! In my free material search this week, I got Yoplait Greek Yogurt coupons, Diabetes handouts, Weight Control handouts, and Blood Pressure cards. There are also a ton of materials for free download; however, I don’t have the ability to print large quantities of handouts. I have the links at the bottom of this blog!

My last exciting nutrition find of the week was my Garden Heroes! I ordered these cute little guys from Learning Zone Express. No, they were not free; however, they were pretty cheap. I teach kids nutrition a lot, so these will come in handy for lessons.

Eddie Eggplant, Buddy Broccoli, Andi Apple, Alonzo Avocado

Stay tuned for my blog on “Dietitian You Say? That Means You Make Meal Plans!”

Resources:
http://www.bellinstitute.com/Coupons.aspx
https://catalog.niddk.nih.gov/index.cfm
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/order/orderpub.htm
http://catalog.nhlbi.nih.gov/catalog/home


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Job Searching, New Career, and New Stage of Life!

It’s been quite a while since I made my last blog post. I could say life got in the way; however, it was really that nothing too crazy happened to want to write about. Just being honest 🙂 So, quick recap is: I passed my RD exam, got my PA state license ($65), renewed my PA state license (another $65), applied for a bunch of jobs (most of which said they wanted people with their RD title for more than a year aka NO), paid for an Adult Weight Management Online Self-Study Module (through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 16 credits), looked at the first section of the module because it is super long, brainstormed some blog ideas, looked into private counseling, worked my current job, did some webinars for free CPE credits, went on a few vacations, and lastly….got a job!

I’m pretty excited about that last part, not only for the nice pay increase from my current position at the YMCA, but also, it was exactly what I was looking for! I will be a part-time retail dietitian at my local supermarket. The position will also be heading towards full-time in the Fall/Winter when the programs get up and running. The RD will do everything from counseling to store nutrition tours to kid’s day events.  I really love working in the community and doing so many different things each day. I hate the whole 9 to 5 boring job routine. I like that I will be doing tons of different programs with all ages and stages of life. The job is also super flexible (I will eventually be creating my own schedule), I will be doing a lot independently (good thing I am a go-getter/self-motivated type of person), I get the opportunity to network with other RDs in the surrounding supermarkets, and I will be doing what I love 🙂 Today’s Dietitian sums up the role of a supermarket dietitian pretty well (for those of you who aren’t sure what they do). The supermarket I will be at had 26 events last month, so I will definitely be a busy bee until I find my own routine.

So, how am I feeling about my new job and starting tomorrow? I am obviously very excited and anxious to just get in and get started. I am also a wee bit overwhelmed. There is a lot that goes on each week and besides all the events, I also schedule counseling, store tours, additional classes, and answer customer nutrition questions. It is also a new atmosphere with tons of new faces (been at my current job for 9 years so I pretty much know everyone and everything there is) and I don’t really have an idea of what I will be doing every day. Like, how will I structure my day? I will be the only RD in the store, so it is not like I will be trained by the person in the position last. I am so grateful that I will get the opportunity to head to 2 other stores this week and meet the RDs there. I have a huge list of questions I want to ask them! I am very glad I have had experience running programs, creating materials, and working with the public at my current job. I feel like that is giving me a great basis for my new position.

I don’t know if this is job where I will be forever (still keeping my YMCA position), but who knows! I am definitely leaning towards becoming a private practice RD. And by leaning towards, I mean I want to do it and get started, I am just slacking a bit 🙂 It is a bit overwhelming to learn about everything you need to do to get started in private practice! I just need to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps (instead of avoiding getting started..haha). This will be something I will be getting back to in future blog posts.

I feel like I am at the stage in my life where all my friends and acquaintances are either having babies, getting married, or getting their career job. I mentioned this to my boyfriend this past weekend and his response was that I am now in this crowd with my new position.  It feels a bit weird to me. I mean you go through college, finish an internship, take a test, but I don’t think it really hits you until you land that first job or just do something with your new title (like start a private practice). I feel like I am finally spreading my wings at a place that will give me the tools and knowledge to make even more of an impact on people (and way more people that is). But anyways, moving on from my emotional part of this blog 🙂 Stay tuned for my upcoming blog posts on: “My First Week as a Supermarket Dietitian” and “Dietitian You Say? That Means You Make Meal Plans.” (I am especially excited about writing that last one)!