Melissa Bailey, MS, RD, CNSC, LDN & Elizabeth Smith MPH, RD, CNSC, LDN
TWO HUNGRY WORK WIVES
for something nutrishus
I 'met' these lovely ladies as followers of the series on Instagram. As you continue to see, whether it's a hobby or a business, many dietitians start blogs, create recipes, counsel/coach as they're just so passionate and/or have unique interests and skills they want to share with the world. This truly is much more than a job to most of us!
Why did you become a RD?
Liz- I initially wanted to help with clients struggling with eating disorders; however throughout my internship I realized that overall health and wellness was important to me, leading me to the clinical world.
Melissa- I loved experimenting with recipes and making them healthier throughout high school and college. It wasn’t until friends told me I should consider nutrition that I gave it a thought. Now I am surprisingly working in an acute care setting, but have reignited my love of healthy cooking through our Instagram and blog.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
We both work in the clinical setting in an acute care hospital. We also provide outpatient counseling weekly. On the side we work on our Instagram and blog @twohungryworkwives.
How would you explain what you do?
Our role as dietitians in the clinical setting is to provide medical nutrition therapy to our hospitalized patients. Melissa focuses on providing nutrition support (tube feeds and I.V. nutrition) to adult surgical patients while Liz works mainly in the neonatal ICU helping premature babies to grow.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
We see anywhere from 12-15 patients per day, assessing their nutrition needs and creating a plan with the medical team that best suits each patient. We also attend staff meetings, weekly education sessions and daily interdisciplinary rounds. As far as social media, we try to have meetings together a few times a week to discuss what we will post and the different ideas we have.
What has been your career path?
Liz- studied nutrition undergrad, went on to work in community nutrition for several years while completing grad school. After completion of grad school, I went into my dietetic internship, where I realized that I wanted to eventually work in the clinical setting.
Melissa- I studied health sciences in undergrad as I was not quite sure what part of the health profession I wanted to be in. I met with a professor who happened to also be a registered dietitian and she sparked my interest in the field. I went on to grad school with a focus in nutrition, then completed my dietetic internship. I also realized then that I wanted to be in the clinical setting, at least for the first few years of my career.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
We both have our master’s degree. Melissa has her Masters of Science in Human Nutrition while Liz has her Masters of Public Health with a focus in Nutrition. We both are Certified Nutrition Support Clinicians.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
We hope that the profession continues to grow as there is a need for nutrition professionals within the community as well as in the medical setting. Since dietitians focus on evidenced-based research, we feel it is important to help build up our profession to get the most accurate nutrition information out to the public. We also hope that as the years go by there is better compensation for Registered Dietitians and the value of our profession is noticed.
What would you like people to know about RDs?
We go through years of education to become a Registered Dietitian and just like any other health professional, we have to take a board examination to become certified to practice. We also have to hold a state licensure (in most states). Many dietitians have a master’s degree and all of us go through an intense 1200-hour internship before sitting for our board exams.
What is your favourite meal?
Melissa- homemade pasta and braciole
Liz- her mom’s mac and cheese
More about Melissa & Liz:
Website: Two Hungry Work Wives