Weight Management

Managing weight is a big part of health. With the rapid increasing concern of health in the overweight population in the US, I recognized the importance of dietetics professionals who are specialized in the field of weight management. I had the amazing opportunity to work and learn from 2 experienced RD; Katherin Snyder and Nancy Smith, and the amazing team of healthcare professionals at the Bariatric Center.

As an intern I was able to teach a couple of nutrition initial classes via Telehealth, attend and participate in several programs offered in the center including the diabetes prevention program (DPP), and Optifast, and learned how to use Tanita, full body composition scale. I learned that behavioral techniques such as setting reasonable goals, self monitoring through food logs, and having a support group is really important to help patients reduce their weight, and improve their lives more than ever. I feel grateful to gain experience and the confidence I need to become a dietitian that is able to adapt to new ways in order to help the overweight population in particular.

Recently, Florida became one of the highest states affected with COVID-19. For the safety of our patients and workers, the Bariatric Center made changes to see patients via Telehealth only. Now, all patients visits from initial, follow up, bariatric pre and post surgery classes are done via Telehealth. Being here in person, made me realize the hard work and challenges on implementing Telehealth for the patients. To compensate for the in person interaction, we would have to think outside the box , in order to keep the patients engaged and stay connected. Between the poor connection, and the patient’s challenge to find time and place to do the online visit, Telehealth can be quite challenging. I learned that all nutrition goals and meal plans for patients need to be prepared individually; that includes sending the link for the meeting, confirming the appointments time, and billing. I also learned the importance of giving the patients ongoing support especially during this pandemic whether they decide to do weight loss through behavioral, pharmaceutical or surgery options.

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