Constant Challenge Motivates for Decades

Thursday, March 29, 2012

By Anastasia Knyazeva

People often jump from one job to another, trying to find one that will constantly keep them interested and motivated. Dietitians seem to stay in their line of work for many years and even decades. What is so interesting and motivating about dietitians’ work?

The field of dietetics is diverse and requires constant learning. As experts in the field of nutrition, they are expected to keep up with new research, strive to bring the most reliable and evidence-based information to the public.

“Patients count on us to demystify the vast amount of nutrition information bombarding them on a daily basis,” says Cathy Doyle, a clinical dietitian who has been working at Capital Health for 22 years.

“We need to help people sift through that research and help them figure out if something really makes sense or not,” says Lynn Campbell who has been working as a Capital Health dietitian for 26 years. “Trying to keep up with misinformation in books, on the Internet and on TV is challenging and at times, frustrating.”

Even so, Lynn thinks that for the most part, these challenges do keep dietitians motivated. “Time challenges are the most difficult - trying to get everything done, see all the patients, do committee work, research articles, trying to incorporate new ways of doing things and a lot more,” says Lynn. “I’ve worked with a lot of dietitians, and in my experience, dietitians are 110 percent committed to their work.”

Dietitians are constantly exposed to diversity of complex cases and interesting experiences which may explain why they stay with their work.

“I get a chance to put a lot of different skills into practice, including working with patients that require parenteral (IV) nutrition, tube feeding and therapeutic diets,” says Elizabeth Reid, a clinical dietitian who has been working at Capital Health for over four years. “I get to see a wide variety of patient conditions.”

In some professions, individuals become proficient at tasks they do every day. Dietitians, however, often work with a variety of different health issues in any given day. This motivates them to continue learning and stay up to date with a wide variety of nutritional information. 

A combined 52 years working as dietitians, Cathy, Lynn and Elizabeth haven’t had a day when they lost their motivation or were bored. Thanks to everyday learning, challenges and new and exciting experiences, their interest in nutrition and health is growing all the time - no matter how many years they’ve been helping patients.