I can’t even begin to count the number times I’ve said some variation of “should have been a nurse…” since starting down the path of becoming a registered dietitian. Getting to a place where I feel comfortable in my career and have had stable employment has taken years. The struggle for recognition within and outside of mainstream healthcare feels, at times, a futile endeavour. Keeping up with the constant bombardment of nutritional quackery and charlatan health gurus is exhausting and appears fruitless for all the labour it entails. Why not pack it in, switch streams, at the very least to one where I get paid more to deal with the same things.
At the same time, the longer I practice, the more certain I become that nursing, pharmacy, etc are not for me. I am so fortunate to work with some phenomenal nurses and pharmacists; these are great professions and great people, but that path is just not for me. For every job I’ve held I’ve tallied a fair breadth of experience, and, knowing my cautious self, I may never had pursued this had I settled into a less precarious work situation. The struggle for recognition is draining, but the longer I work, the stronger my conviction the world needs more credentialed and reliable nutrition professionals. And boy, is debunking nutritional nonsense fun.
I should not have been a nurse. I am where I should be. Talking about food all day is what I do best. Working with patients and other healthcare professionals to keep people healthy and PREVENT ill health is more rewarding than I ever thought possible (even if the long-term outcomes of my efforts aren’t immediately visible). Through this work I’ve met so many wonderful RDs and I learn so much from them every single day; they inspire me to be better and try new things.
Happy dietitian’s day to all my fellow dietitians.
p.s. and yes, talking about food all day does make me hungry. All. Day. Long.