Q: Does an RDN’s job end when the patient is discharged?
Where our clients have established outpatient programs, the dietitian plays an integral part. For example, the hospital or healthcare system may have specific outpatient clinics for conditions such as oncology, diabetes, cardiac and transplant to name a few. A physician may also recommend that an inpatient receive nutritional counseling once discharged from the hospital, so the dietitian may now see them on a regular basis as an outpatient.
Aramark dietitians also pitch in to provide nutrition education and counseling during clients’ community health fairs and other community involvement initiatives supported by Aramark.
Q: How does the Clinical Nutrition Development and Deployment team support Aramark dietitians at client locations?
I lead a team of three regional directors. Each one is an RDN and has been an operator in the field, as well. We help develop the tools that our clinicians use to provide medical nutrition therapy to patients. We ensure nutrition and menu standards are in place to provide the most positive, healing environment for patients.
We provide other field support to Aramark Healthcare+ regional and district leadership, sales teams, and others. In a way, we also help guide our field dietitians’ career paths with employee engagement, career growth and competency initiatives. On a related note, Aramark has developed a very robust and successful dietetic internship program. Because there is such a focused teaching lens to the program, it allows our existing clinical dietitians to stay sharp while they precept and mentor future RDNs. It also gives the interns a path to pursuing employment with Aramark.
We are one of the largest employers of dietitians around. Dietitians work not only in Aramark Healthcare+, but in Education K-12, Higher Education, Business Dining, Corrections, and corporate positions.
Q: How do dietitians work with the food services team?
We are all part of one team. In a healthcare setting, the department is usually called Food and Nutrition Services. When a patient needs a specific diet plan, the dietitian ensures it becomes part of the patient’s record so they receive meals from nutritionally verified and medically accepted recipes and menus.
Registered Dietitians at Aramark also work closely with the company’s culinary development team to create therapeutic diet menus that align with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Care Manual, as well as other accepted and proven resources for various medical conditions. These are used throughout Aramark client locations.