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How UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital's Dietitians Contribute to our Organization and Community

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Ann Scott, Registered Dietitian at UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital, is one of Finley’s many team members that not only have a positive impact on our organization, but in our community as well.

How long have you been a part of UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital?

I have been employed with UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital since 2004, and will have been a part of this team for thirteen years in May.

Describe your role at UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital.

I am a registered dietitian at Finley Hospital who accesses and educates patients within the hospital in-patient setting. Other members of the team also include registered dietitians who provide nutritional education for our community in the outpatient setting at the UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital Kehl Diabetes Center.

As an inpatient registered dietitian, I work primarily with patients, providers, and other health professionals to assess the nutritional needs of the patient. My goal is to sit down with each patient and briefly introduce them to the effect nutrition can have on their current diagnosis. When the patient is ready, we discuss what the patient can do to take that next positive step toward healthy food choices. I work with our patients to develop a nutritional plan that is individual, realistic, and doable. If the patient doesn’t take ownership of the nutrition plan, it will never get implemented.

What does a typical day look like for you?

On a daily basis, I review electronic charts for each patient, reading medical history, labs, weight changes, appetite, and malnutrition screens. Then I have the privilege of meeting with patients and developing a nutrition plan, which may involve the patient, myself, and other providers. By the end of the day, we hope to carry out the best and most current nutrition outcome for each patient.

If someone was interested in dietitian work in a health care facility, what would you tell them about Finley, and why it’s a great place to do this type of work?

UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital is an organization that promotes unity and excellence amongst its team members. With bigger health care facilities requiring their dietitians to primarily work with a specialty group of patients, I feel fortunate to be a part of an organization where I’m able to work with and make a difference in the lives of many patients – whether they be a cardiology, oncology, pediatric, surgical, geriatric psych, rehab, obstetrics, or medical patient.

What type of prior work and/or education experience is needed for a role like yours in the health care setting?

Licensing as a registered dietitian requires someone to obtain a four year bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field, in addition to completing a year-long internship. Similar to nursing staff, certification as a registered dietitian also requires a licensing exam and continuing education to maintain your license within the state that you’re working.

In what ways does your role have an impact on our community?

Being a registered dietitian allows me to help my community be proactive in preventing disease and promoting health. We encourage lifestyle changes, related to food choices and activity levels that directly impact the quality and longevity of our community members’ lives.

What does Best Outcome Every Patient, Every Time mean to you?

To me, providing the Best Outcome Every Patient, Every Time means making sure that the patients I work with learn something new about nutrition that they didn’t know before. Each day, our team champions excellence in the ways in which we stay current with nutrition research to be able to consistently provide the Best Outcome Every Patient, Every Time.

Describe your favorite memory while working at UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital.

Many memories come to mind when thinking back to how my role has had an effect on our patients and community. One that stands out to me was when I was working with a diabetic patient who had recently undergone an amputation due to her condition. Understandably, she felt as if she had “failed” again as a diabetic. One day, I looked at her and said, “We’re going to figure this out.” I sat with her and took a different approach to explain how to count carbohydrates. I’ll never forget seeing the light bulb go on for her when she finally had a solid understanding of not only how to count carbohydrates, but how the impact of that effort alone would improve her health. She finally felt like she could succeed. That is why I love my job.

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