If you’ve never met with Registered Dietitian it might be intimidating going into your first appointment. We often get questions like “will I no longer be able to eat my favorite foods?” The truth is, your dietitian is there to support you and help you meet your goals while still being able to enjoy your favorite foods. We promise your first dietitian appointment will not be scary at all! Instead, you will be empowered by your dietitian to make better food choices for your health.
“What will my first appointment be like?”
This is a great question but can have different answers. That is because every appointment is tailored to the individual and their needs. Many people see primary care physicians and might already be familiar with the process of seeing a specialist. However, for our new clients, Rebecca Bitzer and Associates is the first experience they will have with a Registered Dietitian. Check out this video by our Registered Dietitian, Dana Magee, to learn more!
We want to make your encounters with our admin staff and Registered Dietitians to be as easy and positive as possible. In order to do that, here are some things that you can expect from your first visit with your Registered Dietitian.
Prior to your appointment:
At Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, we have several dietitians with different specialties. When you make your initial appointment with our admin staff, they will make sure to schedule you with a dietitian who specializes in your needs.
We have dietitians who specialize in:
|Digestive Issues||Kidney Disease|
|Food Sensitivities||Integrative Nutrition|
|Weight Management||Functional Medicine|
and more! Being matched with the best dietitian to meet your needs is key. For instance, you would not go to a cardiologist for a broken leg or an oncologist for allergies. Just like medicine has become so specialized, so has the field of nutrition. There are many benefits of working with our team! You will be able to work with a dietitian who is both personally and professionally passionate about improving your medical situation in a practical and realistic way.
What we need from you:
When you call our office, our administrative team will help you set up your appointment, go over the registration forms we need from you, and answer any of your insurance questions.
Your completed registration forms are given to the dietitian you will be meeting with to inform them of the nature of your visit. This is a great way to help the dietitian become familiar with your needs and go over any lab results or eating patterns that you have.
During your appointment:
When you arrive you will be greeted by our receptionist or one of our team members.
During your initial appointment, which typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour, you and your dietitian will get to know each other and establish what you want to get out of your visits. Most of your time at the office will be spent talking with your dietitian because they want to get to know you as a person. This will help make an action plan that fits you and work seamlessly into your lifestyle.
Our goal is not to tell you, “you can never eat your favorite foods” or that “you must exercise in a specific way” but to work with you and make manageable changes. In addition, the dietitian will take time to familiarize themselves with your medical history and eating habits in order to build a successful nutrition plan and make realistic goals.
Questions your dietitian may ask you:
- Have you seen a Registered Dietitian in the past?
- What is your job like?
- What are your hunger and fullness signals like?
- What does a “normal” day of eating look like to you?
- Do you ever experience emotional/stress eating?
- Are you ever faced with GI distress?
- Do you like to cook?
- What are your stress and sleep habits like?
We are compassionate:
It is important to remember that your dietitian is not there to pass judgment. They are only there to listen, assess the situation, and help you in the best way possible. Please answer honestly so that you can get the most out of your session and feel free to ask your own questions.
Keep in mind, the more the dietitian gets to know you and your life, the better they can help you. This is a time for you to build each other’s trust and get you feeling your best!
After you and your dietitian have developed a rapport, the nutrition education process can begin! This will vary depending on what brought you into the office in the first place. The education process is the time to ask questions that you may have, voice any concerns, and let the dietitian know what you may have in mind for future visits.
Once you have established some goals and focuses for the time until your next visit, your dietitian may have resources and other take home items for you! These resources will help you in the coming days, weeks, months, and even years!
After your appointment:
In order to further discuss your progress and nutritional care, your dietitian will schedule a follow-up. You may be asked to keep a food log or to follow-up over the phone or email if you are struggling. Remember: you can always reach out to your dietitian or our office staff if you need extra support in between appointments. We truly want you to succeed!
Why see a private practice Registered Dietitian?
Some people feel confident in managing their diet after a few consultations, others may want more appointments to discuss problems, ask questions, and stay accountable for extended periods of time. We are here to support you as much as you need. Even if that means meeting several times a month or for several years! We are here to help you along your journey to better health. You will be able to see the same Registered Dietitian for all of your appointments which fosters a long-term relationship and better success.
Longer appointment times mean more time to listen and therefore more individualized care for you and/or your family. You will receive individualized actionable items to help you progress along your health journey. We are kind, compassionate, and patient and will take your lead on how fast you want to take action.
Appointments can be arranged at a time that suits you, reducing the need to take time off work or arrange child care (evening and weekend appointments are also available). In addition to seeing you in person in one of our four locations in Maryland, we can also do telehealth appointments, taking the stress away from having to travel to see us in person.
Interested in making your first appointment to see a Registered Dietitian? Click here or call us at 301-474-2499.
Contributions for this updated blog made by Haley Kappey, nutrition intern, October 2019.
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Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.