Intern Skills - Dietary Assessments and Modifications

One of the many skills that we develop while here at NUHS, and perhaps one of the more important, is taking an assessment of a patient's typical diet. Once we have a good diet recall or diary from a patient, we can determine the benefits and drawbacks of the patient's diet, the impact (for better or worse) upon the patient's health, and then we can make modifications as necessary to help the patient return to a basis for health.

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Intern Heather Bautista taking a dietary assessment from Intern Jerrica Sweetnich.

We start by getting a log of a patient's typical weekday and weekend diets as many people eat differently on the weekends than they do during the workweek. After a review of the diet with the patient, we consult with our clinicians regarding the patient's chief complaint, review of systems, health stressors, and treatment plan. Part of the treatment plan involves modifications in a patient's diet and may include the following:

  • Water Intake or hydration
  • Meats (unless vegetarian/vegan)
  • Vegetarian/vegan sources of protein
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Avoidance of grains (if necessary)
  • Healthy fat (Omega 3 Fatty Acid) sources
  • Dairy sensitivities
  • Estrogenic food intake and impact upon estrogen levels
  • Sugar intake
  • Fiber intake

...just to name a few.

Dietary modifications are a key tool to help our patients return to a basis for health. Our health begins with the nutrients we provide our bodies for building strong muscle, bone, nervous tissue, and preventing or fighting infection.

With that said, I'll grab a healthy bite to eat and make my way to clinic for the afternoon shift. This evening its time to carve pumpkins by the fire pit and make ready for Halloween!