Dietetic Career Spotlight on Gloria Fishburn, RD, Meals on Wheels
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on OCTOBER 8, 2013
Gloria Fishburn was an RD in the Philippines and now in the United States. Working for Meals On Wheels, she has crossed many borders while bringing education, knowledge, and good food to her clients. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
This profession enabled me to work with other health professionals especially in the hospital setting. Being one of the team in the hospital setting gave me the boost and unprecedented self-confidence to contribute to the individual’s overall health.
Your Job Title?
Company you are with now?
Meals On Wheels of San Francisco
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
A typical day starts with checking clients’ messages and complaints at the same time and other general and administrative work. I do nutrition education needs assessments and nutritional counseling. For new clients, we check with their PCP for diet authorization. I get a lot of phone calls from clients be it a complaint or general questions about the menu and discussions on diets related to their medical condition. I do kitchen monitoring for food safety and check overall conditions of the kitchen on most days.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I started my professional practice way back in the Philippines after I got my license. I worked as an administrative and clinical dietitian in 2 hospitals and later on worked as a Food Service dietitian before I migrated to the US. During that time I couldn’t get into dietetics because there was no reciprocity program available, until 1995 when the program was approved and I was able to get my RD status in spite of the long hiatus of non-practice of my profession. I started working as a WIC RD before MOWSF.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I’m very good in motivational counseling and I have the right people skills. I enjoy discussing biochemistry.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Be aware that the overall health of an individual and the community would depend on us and we are the educators. When you set your objectives, the most satisfying feeling is the accomplishment and success that comes at the end. The good thing about nutrition is it starts and ends in the entire life cycle so it’s a continuous process. In the hospital setting establishing rapport with all the health care professional is a good challenge to show how our profession is an integral part of the patients overall health condition. There is a lot of fields and challenges to explore once you get your RD status.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Outside the pay status I would like to be recognized as an active contributor to the nutritional needs of the community.