Young Alum of the Month: Rachel Bratek

Rachel Bratek
Title and Company: 
Clinical Dietitian at Regions Hospital in Saint Paul, MN
Apple Valley, MN
Major and Graduation Date: 
Dietetics, May 2013
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

As a clinical dietitian at Regions I complete nutrition assessments for individuals who are inpatient status.  Currently I float to many different units, some of them being the medical intensive care unit, surgical intensive care unit, post-surgical unit and behavioral health.  My main responsibilities are to determine which patients are at nutritional risk in the hospital and provide nutrition interventions.  Depending on which floor I am covering my responsibilities vary.  These range from calculating enteral nutrition formulations (also known as tube feedings) to provide to patients who cannot meet their nutritional needs orally, to educating patients on ways to nutritionally manage certain health conditions, such as diabetes or congestive heart failure.

What you like most about your job/position: 

I enjoy the variety I receive from my job, so it is very difficult to determine the one aspect that is my favorite!  For patients who cannot eat orally and need nutrition via different means such as a feeding tube, it is very rewarding to calculate exactly what they will be receiving.  I am definitely a “people person” so I also love being able to educate others about nutrition information pertinent to their medical condition.  Being fairly new into the professional world of dietetics and healthcare, I absolutely love how much I am learning.

What advice would you give to current students: 

My advice would be to step outside of your comfort zone.  Sometimes you have to try things that you thought you would not enjoy at all to find what you are truly passionate about.  In addition to stepping outside of your comfort zone, be involved in a variety of activities.  They could bring you joy and you will learn how to interact with all different types of individuals.

Favorite ISU Class:
Nutrition Counseling and Education Methods with Eunice Bassler