Advice to Future RDNs
Recently, I spoke at a graduation ceremony for dietetic interns. I based my presentation on a book I made my son for his graduation — listing all the goals I hoped he'd accomplish as an adult. Here are my 15 pieces of advice for "future RDNs."
Some will find the perfect job right away that matches their skills; some won’t. If you're in the latter group, don't get discouraged. Stay with the not-so-perfect job for a while and work at it.
Read, Write, Participate, Attend
The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics publishes the research of your colleagues. Food & Nutrition Magazine provides practical solutions to the research. The editors at both publications are engaging and accessible and want to hear from you. Attend conferences to hear how that research is being used.
Make a Meal
Make a meal from scratch using healthy ingredients. Learn practical solutions you can pass on to your clients.
By participating in community events, you show support for those people who also work to improve the health of others.
Think about Laws
Express your views with state legislators. Support the Academy’s public policy work! This is what made state licensure and medical nutrition therapy laws possible, and created jobs and revenue for the RDN.
Get Fresh Air
Take a break and go outside when you can. On weekends, pack a picnic and head to a nearby park.
Be There to Care
Come to work feeling inspired and give your best.
Remember This: "First the Root Goes Down, Then the Plant Goes Up"
Make yourself a good example. Walk the walk and talk the talk in preventing disease by eating and serving nutrient-dense food.
Know Our Heritage
The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Our profession is a crucial component in health care.
Laugh Every Chance You Get
When you make mistakes, laugh at yourself!
Respect the Environment
Buy local, prevent waste, live within your means and support your work café.
Leave Work Behind
Find a creative outlet where you can focus on something other than work's worries. Try to carve out 30 minutes to yourself each day to recharge.
Make Others Feel Special
Don't forget to thank everyone who works to support our mission.
Help and Connect
Donate foods that you can’t use on your menus to hunger groups.
Be the Best You Can Within Your Style and Gifts
What matters in the long-run is sticking with it and having the resilience to get back up when you get knocked down.
Cindy Gay, RD, LD, serves as historian for the West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, teaches in the lifelong learning program and conducts farmers market demonstrations. She blogs at Cindy's Health Meals and is enjoying planning meals for two instead of meals for 1,000. Connect with her on Twitter and Pinterest.
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