Being a New Dietitian in Long Term Care: Getting Started!

Are you a new Dietitian in Long Term Care practice? Do you not know where to start? This post will help!

New Dietitian in Long Term Care

Here’s how you may be feeling right now:

  • Overwhelmed, wondering where the heck do I even start?
  • You are the only Dietitian in your facility and you have never practiced in long term care
  • Frustrated that there is not one centralized website or resource that tells you everything you need to know
  • Don’t know who to ask all your questions to about everyday practice

First of all, take a deep breath, you are going to be just fine.

I was in your shoes at the beginning of my career. My first job out of internship (no experience, hello scary) was as the only Clinical Dietitian in a 100-bed long term care (LTC) home.

I had a few days training with the Dietitian before she was off on maternity leave. There I was, working in an area that I hadn’t even had a rotation in during my internship.

I had literally never stepped into a LTC home before, other than visiting my grandparents.

Where I Got Started

I knew nothing about, well anything really lets be honest. I didn’t know the following specifically:

  1. I had no idea about the Audits that take happen annually
  2. The different diet textures, fluid textures, etc. that were being served
  3. The format of serving meals to residents
  4. I didn’t know any of the resident’s, their families, the amount of communication skills that you need to have to work with them
  5. How closely the Dietitian needs to work with the Food Services Manager
  6. Nutrition Supplements, should everyone be on them?
  7. Documentation needed
  8. I literally.knew.nothing.

So if you feel overwhelmed, let me tell you, you are going to be okay!

I am going to help you through the help you get from beginning to expert!

Here’s Where to Start

First of all: Read the blog, ‘Checklist to Start Your LTC Practice‘ for a checklist of ways to start being a Dietitian in LTC.

Second: Get help from a Long Term Care Dietitian!

This could be either a resource provided by your company/facility, or another Dietitian you know.

I also offer this help to ALL new long term care Dietitians!

Step 1: One-on-One Dietitian Training

I offer one-on-one Clinical Dietitian training for ANY Dietitian that needs help to boost their confidence in their clinical practice skills?

That’s right, you can send me ANY question whenever you need to ask questions on how to treat patients, deal with a workplace situation, and much more!

Check out more information by clicking on the picture below!

The is a central resource that can help you find all you need to know about starting in long term care.

Step 2: Get ready for an Audit

Also if you have no idea what goes into your facility being audited – you NEED to learn.

I walk you step-by-step through the audits process and what you need to do as a Dietitian here:

long term care state survey book

Step 3: Get Organized

You can also check out the free Resources section. You’ll find a lot of free spreadsheets that will keep you organized and help establish your practice.

You can find them here:

resident nutrition tracking form

Don’t forget to sign up for the subscriber list to get lots of freebies and be kept up to date on new articles!

Michelle saari dietitian
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Michelle Saari is a Registered Dietitian based in Canada. She has a Master's Degree in Human Nutritional Sciences and is a passionate advocate for spreading easy to understand, reliable, and trustworthy nutrition information. She is currently a full time online entrepreneur with two nutrition focused websites.

2 thoughts on “Being a New Dietitian in Long Term Care: Getting Started!”

  1. Pingback: Dietitians and End of Life Conversations: What You Can Say to Help Loved Ones

  2. Pingback: Dietitians and End of Life Conversations: What You Can Say to Help Loved Ones – Long Term Care Nutrition

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