At the request of some awesome followers I'll be hosting my first Blab session Q&A!
I'll answer as many questions as I can On Wednesday, November 4th at 5 pm PST/6pm MST/ 8pm EST! We'll have about 30-45 min of time to get some great questions about becoming a dietitian answered!
Download Blab to listen from your phone, or go to Blab.im to listen from your computer!
My handler is @Jess_M_RD. Add me and subscribe!
Since we'll have limited time I recommend submitting your questions ahead of time using the form below!
I'll choose the top questions and then I'll ask for participants questions with any time we have left!
_Are you up for a little competition?
Run, Walk, and Bike your way to victory and to end hunger!
Dietetic Students and Dietitians will challenge each other to log the most miles on Charity Miles and donate to Feeding America!
Feeding America is leading the fight against hunger nationwide, and as we're gearing up for Thanksgiving, a holiday of plenty, lets give back so that those in need can also have a meal!
When?: Now- Dec 31
Where?: Anywhere!! Outside or Indoors!
How?: Run, Walk, Bike or all three!
Why?: Raise money for every miles you cover!
Who?: All RDs, RD Eligible, Dietetic Students and Interns, Dietetic Technicians Welcome too! Just Pick Your Team!
Here's how it works:
Download the Charity Miles app iPhone Android
Sign Up and Create and Account for the App
Join Your Team!
Once in the app, click on the little runner with a heart icon in the upper left corner, select "Teams" and search either #RD2Be or #Dietitian.
To record your miles, return to the home screen and select "Feeding America" and get moving! Your miles will automatically be applied to the team!
When finished make sure you click through ALL the prompts rather than just close the app to make sure your miles are saved. You may choose to post about your run to either Facebook or Twitter or skip that part. When you can select "I'm Finished" you're done!
Team with the most miles by Dec 31st wins!!! Follow along at Road2RD on Facebook for updates!
Fall is my favorite time of year.
There is something about the transition from summer to winter that I find crazy beautiful, and the fact that it is temporary and transient forces me to stop and crunch some leaves under my feet.
It’s almost a reminder to slow down and be present.
Summer and winter last a few months, depending on where you’re located, and we can usually count on several weekends of that season’s particular weather and enjoyment of seasonal recreation…. But not fall.
Fall only lasts a few weeks.
At least the fun part only lasts a few weeks. The time when the leaves haven’t yet drifted to the ground, and change color almost overnight. Those colors on the tree outside my window won’t stay that way forever, and they never change the same twice.
I write this with a bit of bitterness-- and of note, a PSL in my hand, AC at 65 and a scarf around my neck-- because we currently live in a desert and are soon moving to a tropical island. My favorite season is nearly non-existent where we are going. I’m soaking in what few autumn sentiments I can while here in the high desert. And last year I drove through aspen country more weekends than not while we still lived in Colorado.
How in the world can I enjoy living in a place too close to the equator for my favorite season to visit?
The irony of my story: in my appreciation of the adaptation and transformation autumn represents, I’ve bitterly defied the very attitude I love so much about this season: I’m not adapting.
I’m not transforming..
I’m not adjusting to my soon-to-be environment.
In fact I’m fighting it!
We take biology in our major…. What happens when a natural being doesn’t adapt to its changing environment? They win a Darwin award and they’re kicked off the genetic island.
As humans we don’t have to think about adapting to our environment, not really. We pretty much have control of our environment to our liking. We can artificially inject our preferences into anything and when anywhere. Thanks to social media we can take our friends with us regardless of geographic location. With AC and heat we can defy the natural environment and control our temperature to our liking. With satellite radio and music apps we can ignore local tradition in sound and talk radio and choose our favorite music, or even listen to our favorite radio station from 3000 miles away!
Not home for your favorite show? No problem, it can record itself.
We kind of miss out on our natural ability to adapt easily, which makes the larger changes much harder to adapt in our lack of regular practice with the skill. Despite our customizable lives we still need to learn the art of adapt and overcome.
I recently took a stroll with this very concept and shunned Facebook for 5 days. (GASP!)
It took me almost back to the 90s—almost because I still had my Instagram and Pinterest accounts up and running.
What happened was actually pretty amazing.
Without Facebook to waste time on for lazy scroll and read, I adapted and actually read a book.
Instead of instant messaging a friend I telephoned her! And we had a way better conversation than over the internet.
Instead of getting lost on many blogs and sites offering to help me write my book, I actually sat down and overcame writers block.
Instead of stopping my husband with an “oh yeah I read that/ saw that too” ( in reference to some article or meme), we actually had a conversation because we hadn’t been exposed to exactly the same environment through our little phone screens.
Though an inconvenience… some wonderful things happened.
Switching over from summer to winter is a type of inconvenience for mother nature as well. I’m sure plants would love for the summer sun and monsoons to continue for eternity. Imagine how much they would thrive! But creatures that have everything they need aren’t so tough are they?
Think of a domestic dog vs a wolf. A domestic dog is given everything it needs. A wolf has to work for or else starve to death. Inconvenience and adversity are not things to shy away from. I type this not only as a hope to motivate you into accepting and overcoming adversity as something to be proud of, but also as a reminder to myself. I’m going to a place where plants thrive on sunshine and light rain year round. Where the weather is always nice and toes don’t freeze off.
Technically, as far as human nature goes, I should be feeling relieved! But as someone who is accustomed to both the challenges and the beauty of harsh weather, I find that I fondly recall overcoming the challenges, and feel nostalgic for the beauty that was always my reward. If you don’t know what I mean here are some examples I can pull from my own life:
Adapt and overcome.
If we can control our environments so much, why then is it necessary to learn this skill? Because you can’t control everything, especially other people, we live intertwined in this world, whether we like it or not. We do effect each other because we must work together. And as each of us has our own liberty to make choices through this life, our choices end up creating situations and consequences—whether by pure luck, chaos, or a by choice – and sometimes those situations aren’t ideal. What is impressive in a person is how they navigate a less than ideal situation. Any person can do well when handed all the right cards. But the person who can turn lemons into lemonade is truly talented and worthy of reward and recognition, whatever that may mean to you.
Life rarely hands us all the right cards, no matter how we try to stack them.
What are some ways you can practice this in every day life? Create an inconvenience for yourself, or accept an inconvenience in order to do something for someone else. I find that our technology and way of life has removed most inconveniences turning us into a society of instant gratification. These technological circumstances create many options that can be removed in order to create a situation that requires some creative thinking and adaptation. Change your attitude from “what have I lost?” to “what can I gain?”.
Is a Master's degree all its cracked up to be?
I've been pursuing a graduate degree for several years now. One class at a time plus breaks for life's unexpected twists and turns have stretched, what could be completed in a year on a full time schedule, out to four years at present, with about another year or two to go, depending on class schedules and, well, life. Is there any benefit to stretching it out this long?
Many of my colleagues take on graduate course work begrudgingly... sometimes it wasn't Plan A, as you'll see below. Unfortunately, the field of dietetics doesn't offer much in the way of a pay bonus for having a graduate level education- a difference of about $1/hour, or $2-3k per year, 2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). So what in the world would prompt a dietetics grad/intern/RD to pick up the tab for grad school?
Your Packet Isn't Competitive Enough
Internship competition is fierce. Having some grad school under your belt can show continued learning and commitment to your chosen career path. It shows more educational maturity than a bachelor's degree alone, because lets face it-- Grad school takes a lot more independent learning than most bachelor's programs.
If your grades for your bachelor's degree weren't stellar, either going back and retaking classes or continuing your education with grad school can give it a boost it needs. The key to having grad school classes help your case is showing an improved graduate GPA compared to your bachelor's GPA. It also means that as an interns you'll have more education under your belt compared to your peers.
Beware though. Although I took one graduate level class to boost my internship application after being unmatched on my first attempt, my experience in that first pre-internship grad level class was all but enriching. My personal opinion, which is shared by several of my peers, is that graduate school is far more valuable after an internship. When we're talking value in this context it is not referring to the value of that MS or MA on your application and what that could mean to your acceptance into an internship, but rather the value of what you get from that education. Having an internship or at least a good amount of work experience provides a foundation for the application of that new knowledge as what you learn at the graduate level is typically meant for professionals. I gained so much more from my classes after my internship, and especially those I took while working.
There is Fierce Competition for Jobs In Your Area
Although a master's degree doesn't guarantee a job or a higher pay, it has potential to give an applicant more ranking in the job market. Higher education could provide you with more expertise relevant to that particular position and utilizing the examples of that knowledge in an interview or on your resume could help with a call back, and this could especially be true in entry level positions. New entry level RD applications run the risk of looking similar, having something to make yours stand out is key. Other ways to make your job application stand out without a graduate degree could include special projects, volunteer work, or awards.
You Want to Go Into the Education Sector
Professor positions generally require a graduate level degree, with some positions requiring a doctorate. From my own research, it seems a master's thesis is preferred for acceptance into a doctoral program, though sometimes not required. Some master's programs require a thesis while others provide options such as an in depth paper rather than a thesis. With many dietitians in the field being uncomfortable with research, my advice is to go for the thesis. This not only keeps your options open for a doctoral degree, but it also gives you a leg up on much of the rest of professionals in the field who many not have conducted formal research.
You Want to Join the Military
Acceptance into the military as a dietitian, without completion of the military internship programs, is extremely competitive. Although not required to be eligible, most military dietitians and recruiters recommend not applying unless the applicant holds a master's degree. Since the military internships are coordinated master's programs it is no surprise they would also look for other dietitians with graduate level degrees from the direct commission route.
You Really Like School
Obtaining a graduate degree for not other reason than to reach your career goals in knowledge and professionalism is a perfectly respectable and reasonable justification for the cost and effort. Personally, I enjoy school. I enjoy the structure of learning with an educational institution, I welcome the feedback of my professors, and I enjoy the networking with my peers. These reasons prompted me to continue my graduate level education in pursuit of a higher level of practice for myself and my reputation.
The Future of Dietetics
ACEND is looking to require a Master's degree for the RD credential in the future. It does not appear the final decision has been made, nor has the policy gone into effect at this time, however this is something to consider as newer year groups of dietitians come up through the ranks. Current RDs will be grandfathered in, however it will change the competition in the field as the change over takes place, and the years following. Dietitians earning their credential around the time of the change over may want to consider other ways to stay competitive before the new wave of RDs with master's degrees hits!
Jessica Murray, RD CD CPT
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