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Arthritis Diet and Exercises

Normandale Community College Dietetic Technician Testimonial – Hugo


[MUSIC] My name is
Hugo DeLeon Brown. I work as a dietetic technician. I graduated at Normandale
two years ago. Currently I am working at WIC, it is a supplemental
food program for women, infants and children. I came to this country because
I thought it was a great opportunity for me to be here. [SILENCE] So, my role
here at work as a dietetic technician is
very important because I believe that it makes a big difference
for each family or individual who is having a poor diet to
know about their other choices. How they can eat and
improve their lives by just switching some foods. Eating healthier and that
will improve the health, not only for these people
but for the family as well. So, that is why my job is
very important in society. [SILENCE] I was interested in the
dietetic technician program at Normandale because I felt that nutrition is very
important not only for me as a person, but for all of us. I felt that obesity leads
to health conditions and that it something that I
wanted to avoid, but also moving to this country for me I had
to do many changes in my life and one of them was my diet
and which foods I was going to change and what I have
to, you know, look back and see what my choices were. So that is why I decided
to go in that field. [SILENCE] One thing I really
like about the program was, you know, my teachers. They always encouraged
me, you know, to learn and they were very open
to me, with, you know, choices about my
learning process and I was very grateful
for that. I did not want to change
colleges since I was done with my general classes. Because of that I
thought that, you know, students is something
teachers care about and that gave me confidence
that I could finish the program. So that is something I really like so they were
very open with me. [SILENCE] The area that interested me
the most was a community. I like to talk with clients,
that is one thing I like to do, interact, talk to them and
explain to them, you know, what changes should be made and the reason why those
changes should be made. So interacting with people
is for me very important. I think that it is
something I do very well. [SILENCE] Finding a job for me as a dietetic technician
wasn’t too difficult because my teacher made sure you
know I had the opportunity to go and experience different
work settings. I went to clinics
doing internships, I went to nursing homes and
then I went to this clinic, WIC, and then so I could know, you know where I could be
more meaningful to my job and then I just applied
for this position and I got a response
immediately. [SILENCE] It is important to know
that once you are part of the program, dietetic
technician at Normandale, you have many opportunities
so that as a dietetic technician
you can do many jobs. You can work at clinics; you
can work in different settings. There are so many choices, it
is just a matter of graduating, finish the classes
and then applying for the job you want
to be working on. [SILENCE] The WIC program is
where I am currently working and I work with many of my
clients are pregnant women, postpartum women,
infants and children. WIC is a supplemental food
program through the state. To qualify we take income, there
are some income guidelines, and then most of the people
that come are eligible, but they just have to come and,
you know, we have to determine if they can be part of it or
not, so it is for everyone. For pregnant women we have
different food packages. We are making sure that
they are getting, you know, calcium needs, vegetable, fiber,
etc. So we try to give them, you know, the right foods,
healthier foods for them. But making sure that they are
obtaining what their body needs. For infants we also provide
some formula sometimes but we really promote
breastfeeding because of the health benefits. It is better for us to
prevent illnesses rather than dealing with them. And, you know as an infant
it is so critical for them to eat very well, so this is why
we offer breastfeeding programs. There are some – we do referrals
to breastfeeding programs and then for children we are
offering some food like milk with some whole grain products, we do some peanut
butter, some protein. We do some vegetables
and fruit and now that it is summer we are
offering some farmer’s market vouchers which is
$20.00 of fruit and vegetables for a family. So it is only $20.00
for one family. [SILENCE] In this community I interact
with different ethnic groups. My main language is Spanish and
I use this most of the time, but also, I know how to
speak English and I use it, but not as often
as I use Spanish. It is very important to
relate to those people who don’t know how
to speak English, and they feel confidence
about the advice that I am giving to them. It is very important for them
to take it in a positive way. [SILENCE] At work I see all
types of people, for instance, I see immigrants, I see
students, low income families, those on unemployment, something that we are seeing
a lot these days. These families have to – they
come here and they get food, but something very important
that I forgot to mention is that we do nutrition
assessments too and then based on that we tell them what
could be changed in their diet and why it is important
to make some changes. So, for instance, I saw
a client the other day, she was a pregnant woman. What I did was, you know, I did
my assessment; I talked to her and asked about what
foods she was eating. That was her first pregnancy. And she was drinking 2% milk and not enough vegetables
in her diet. She was eating two portions of vegetables a week,
which is not enough. We encourage eating vegetables
everyday here at work. But, also taking prenatal
vitamins is important too. Visiting the doctor for
appointments to see weight gain or any concern about hemoglobin. So all of this, all together, is what we do during
the assessment. And then I just advise her
why it’s important to switch to lower fat milk and
taking the prenatal vitamins and why it’s important
to have a complete diet. Including vegetables, fruit,
whole grain, egg product and some protein
foods..the whole pyramid. [SILENCE] At work, when a
new client comes to the clinic, we welcome them. They have to call first and
schedule an appointment. And then once they are
here, the first thing we do, we take them to the lab. We do some measurements. We check weight,
height and hemoglobin. And then if there is any
concern that hemoglobin is low, we send them to the doctor. So that is why we do
those three steps first and then we move to the clinic. And then we start
asking questions. We talk to them about what
the program offers to them and what they need to do
to qualify for the program. And then we check for home
address, phones, information. Once that is done and put into
the computer, we talk to them about what their needs are,
what their concerns are. If there is something besides
nutrition that they want to talk about, we do
referrals here in the program. So that’s something
we encourage, we start asking those questions. After that, we put all
the data in the computer. We start asking nutrition
questions, which is the nutrition
assessment. Once that’s done we explain to
them about what their rights and responsibilities
are here in the program. So, they have to tell us the
truth all the time and we have to make sure that they know
the information is only going to be used here in the program and it’s not going
to go outside. Confidentiality is
very important. Once that part is done, we
explain how to use the vouchers in the store, what foods
they are eligible for. And then once we explain that,
if they have any questions, at that moment they can ask. [SILENCE] What I like most about
my job is that I get to interact with people from my country,
but I also enjoy talking to other ethnic groups. I like interaction. That’s something
I enjoy the most. And I also know that what advice
I give them is going to be good for somebody else’s
health as well. [SILENCE] It can be hard sometimes
when you have upset clients. They might lose their vouchers and they will come
demanding new vouchers and they cannot get them. That is the only part
that could be a little bit stressful sometimes. And the clinic can
get really busy and then you feel
you are behind. But that is not often
that I feel that way. It is very rare, but it happens.

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