Rome na­tive re­turns as clin­i­cal di­eti­tian

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Opinion -

ROME, N.Y. >> The Food and Nutri­tion Depart­ment at Rome Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal wel­comes Clin­i­cal Di­eti­tian Am­ber R. Jones, MS, RDN, to its staff.

In­pa­tient clin­i­cal di­eti­tians at Rome Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal play a vi­tal role in the health­care team by pro­vid­ing nu­tri­tional care to pa­tients with var­i­ous con­di­tions and health is­sues. The clin­i­cal di­eti­tians mon­i­tor, as­sess, and op­ti­mize nutri­tion sta­tus based on the pa­tient’s cur­rent med­i­cal con­di­tion and/or their abil­ity to eat. They con­fer with physi­cians and other health­care pro­fes­sion­als to co­or­di­nate med­i­cal and nu­tri­tional needs; they make rec­om­men­da­tions for ther­a­peu­tic di­ets, tube and in­tra­venous feed­ings and/or di­etary sup­ple­ments when nec­es­sary. Clin­i­cal di­eti­tians also teach pa­tients how to make nu­tri­tion­ally sound food choices to speed re­cov­ery, pre­vent dis­ease and main­tain a healthy lifestyle.

A Rome na­tive and 2010 grad­u­ate of Rome Free Academy, Jones pre­vi­ously worked at Rome Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal as a reg­is­tered di­etetic tech­ni­cian and diet clerk, from 2014-2015, while at­tend­ing col­lege. She grad­u­ated from Mor­risville State Col­lege with an as­so­ciate’s of ap­plied sci­ence de­gree in Di­etetic Tech­ni­cian/Food Ser­vice Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and re­ceived her bach­e­lor’s of sci­ence de­gree in nutri­tion from Syra­cuse Univer­sity. Jones went on to com­plete a mas­ter’s of sci­ence de­gree in ap­plied nutri­tion at Sage Grad­u­ate Schools, Troy, NY.

Upon com­ple­tion of her mas­ter’s de­gree, Jones ac­cepted a clin­i­cal di­eti­tian po­si­tion at Union Hospi­tal of Cecil County in Delaware. When she learned that there was an open­ing for a clin­i­cal di­eti­tian at Rome-Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal, how­ever, she jumped at the chance to re­turn.

“We are so ex­cited to have Am­ber back work­ing with our team again,” said Jen­nie Ch­mielewski, RDN, CDN, clin­i­cal nutri­tion man­ager. “She is very en­thu­si­as­tic and up­beat about her work pro­vid­ing the best nu­tri­tional guid­ance for our pa­tients and res­i­dents. We were thrilled that af­ter com­plet­ing her ed­u­ca­tion, Am­ber de­cided to come back home to be a part of our Rome-Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal fam­ily.”

Jones said she de­cided on a ca­reer in nu­tri­tional ser­vice for two rea­sons. First, she laughed and said, was be­cause she “loves food.” Sec- ondly, Jones said she has al­ways had a de­sire to care for peo­ple’s health but re­al­ized early on that themed­i­cal side of health care was not for her.

“When I re­al­ized that I could be part of health care by mak­ing sure pa­tients are get­ting the proper nutri­tion, I knew be­com­ing a di­eti­tian was the per­fect fit for me,” Jones said.

In her new po­si­tion, Jones works with Rome Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal’s Res­i­den­tial Health Care Fa­cil­ity (RHCF) res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies, to as­sure that the res­i­dents are get­ting the proper nu­tri­tional value from what they eat, while pro­vid­ing them with foods they are fa­mil­iar with and en­joy. Jones ex­plained that she as­sesses each res­i­dent’s nu­tri­tional needs and then mon­i­tors their daily food in­take to as­sure that those needs are be­ing met.

“One of the best parts of my job is spend­ing time with the res­i­dents and get­ting to know them,” Jones said. “In talk­ing with them, I get to know what they like and don’t like to eat. Food is such an im­por­tant part of ev­ery­day life. In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing nutri­tion, food pro­vides com­fort and en­joy­ment. How­ever, while I do what I can to pro­vide the res­i­dents with the foods they like, my main fo­cus is to as­sure that ev­ery­one gets what they need to main­tain their health.”

An­other im­por­tant as­pect of Jones’ job is to make sure that the foods she rec­om­mends for res­i­dents are ac­tu­ally be­ing con­sumed.

“I spend time with res­i­dents while they are en­joy­ing their meals,” Jones said. “I’m watch­ing to see that they are eat­ing enough, or mak­ing sure they don’t eat too much. I also look to see if they are hav­ing dif­fi­culty eat­ing and I note if there are things we can sug­gest, in­clud­ing foods that are eas­ier for them to eat or ways to get themto eat more, if needed.”

As a clin­i­cal di­eti­tian, Jones said she finds her job very re­ward­ing know­ing that she plays an im­por­tant part in keep­ing the RHCF res­i­dents healthy and happy. She is so happy to be able to pro­vide that care in the fa­cil­ity that nur­tured her ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions.

“I love it here,” Jones said of work­ing at Rome Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal. “This hospi­tal is truly a unique place where there is such a strong feel­ing of com­mu­nity among the staff. Coming back to work here re­ally feels like coming home.”

Am­ber R. Jones

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