I talked a little bit about what I’ll be doing as a renal dietitian, but I didn’t mention that I am responsible for improving very poor lab values in my patients. In dialysis, dietitians most closely monitor albumin, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and parathyroid hormone (PTH). And most importantly, low albumin levels correlate with increased risk of mortality and morbidity. Not good. I walked into a rather bleak situation and it’s 100% on me to turn this around. Pressssure!!
Because everyone loves “free” money and winning, I created a little competition for our patients. Every month, after labs are drawn, patients can earn chances to win Kroger gift cards that they can use on medications, food, or gas. Patients get 1 entry for every criteria they meet: albumin within range, potassium within range, phosphorus within range, and NO missed treatments. If they are able to meet all 4 criteria, they get 2 extra entries.
And in order to increase long-term compliance with medications and diet, this competition will be on going each month, with 4 winners each month. I hope it works! Or at least helps 🙂
I’ve also requested the clinic to purchase protein supplements for our patients who need the added nutrition. Most of the malnourished patients find protein supplements to either be too expensive or not palatable. And because of strict potassium, phosphorus, and fluid restrictions, not just any protein supplement is appropriate. After doing some research and speaking with drug reps, I chose LiquaCel for my patients. This is a product previously unfamiliar to me, but it is gaining popularity quickly among the protein malnourished populations. After tasting samples I can confirm that this stuff is DELICIOUS! And just 1 ounce provides 16 grams of protein — perfect!
Quesiton: What’s the last challenging situation you were in at school, work, or otherwise? Do you like to be challenged or does it push you out of your comfort zone?
I have to admit, I’m a bit out of my comfort zone on this one. Especially since I have to stand before a committee next Wednesday and give evidence as to what steps I’m taking in order to remedy our patient’s poor nutrition statuses. 😦
Or on a lighter note…anything fun planned for the weekend?? 😀
I am meeting Gina tonight for dinner and drinks! We got together back in June, and I’ve been anxious to hangout again! And now that we’re in Columbus for good, that will be much more doable 😉 We both have new jobs and I’m sure we’ll gab on and on about dietetics…especially since we’re leaving the guys at home! 😉