March is National Nutrition Month and to celebrate, we’ve asked Kerry Dew, MS, RD, LDN to share how she cares for her patients and their families at the end of life.
Happy National Nutrition Month! My name is Kerry Dew, and I’ve been with Community Hospice & Palliative Care since 2011 – almost 12 years!
As the dietitian for Community Hospice & Palliative Care, I work with our patients and their caregivers as part of the interdisciplinary team to promote and support quality of life and comfort. I assist with any nutrition-related concerns that a patient or caregiver has.
I see patients who have requested a consultation. When I meet a patient, I first complete a nutritional assessment. I review the results with the patient and caregiver and provide education and recommendations as needed. As part of the interdisciplinary team at Community Hospice & Palliative Care, I work with other staff as a consultant providing food and nutrition information and support for their patients. I also work with our inpatient dietary team to create menus and promote food safety in our kitchens.
As the only dietitian for Community Hospice & Palliative Care, I work with all the teams. I meet patients where they live, including private residences, Assisted Living Facilities, Long-Term Care Facilities, and our Centers for Caring. I also serve every county covered by Community Hospice & Palliative Care, including North Central Florida.
I decided to be a hospice dietitian because I enjoy working with patients and families to promote quality of life and comfort. I worked in the hospital and long-term care settings before joining Community Hospice & Palliative Care. Those experiences prepared me well for working with our hospice patients and families. When I worked in long-term care, some of our residents received hospice services, so I had the opportunity to work with a few hospice nurses who left a lasting impact on me during those years – Carolyn Bowling and Janice Waters. I admired the caring and dedication they demonstrated when working with their patients. I enjoyed collaborating with them on our shared patients, and they told me that they thought I worked very well with hospice patients. When a full-time position for a dietitian was created at Community Hospice & Palliative Care, it was meant to be, and I decided to apply.
It is an honor to work with our patients and families, and with all the caring individuals who also work at Community Hospice & Palliative Care.