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2nd Lieutenant Tara Johnson - Dietitian (Reserve)

2nd Lieutenant Tara Johnson, Dietitian (Reserve) (65C) goes into detail about benefits/advantages not available to civilian dieticians - health care professionals in the army interact differently than in civilian community, they have mutual...

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2nd Lieutenant Tara Johnson - Dietitian (Reserve)

2nd Lieutenant Tara Johnson, Dietitian (Reserve) (65C) goes into detail about benefits/advantages not available to civilian dieticians - health care professionals in the army interact differently than in civilian community, they have mutual...

The way that health care professionals interact in the Army is definitely different than the way it is in the civilian community.
There's much more mutual respect among the health care professionals and much more perception that we're equals. I think being in the Army, being in that green suit, is an equalizer for all of us versus being in the civilian community when the hospitals very much rely on the physicians bringing business into the hospital so we tend to elevate them to almost a God-like status.
A lot of what dietitians do is education - getting people to modify their diets, but we're also seeing a different kind of professional when people - maybe they were kept on the ventilator post-operatively for too long then we're brought in as a consultant, again, to find another way to feed this person.
A lot of time that's a team effort with the surgeon and a pharmacist and a dietitian for managing the situations because you need to have the proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, and lipids, in addition to the electrolytes you can't get what you would be getting in foods, you have to put the electrolytes, the vitamins and minerals in the nutrition solution, and a lot of times, you can put medications in those solutions as well, to avoid putting them in another way. You can put them in right in with a patient's food.
If I was talking to a dietitian and talking to them about the Reserves, I would probably talk about the professional development and the opportunity to do something a little different than what you do during the month.
I'd probably talk about the retirement and the little bit of extra income you can earn. I usually will tell people, though, we don't do it for the money. That's probably what I would talk to them about.
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