Dietetic Career Spotlight on Jerlyn Jones, Wellness Program Coordinator
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on FEBRUARY 20, 2017
Meet Jerlyn Jones, MS, MPA, RD, LD, who is a dietitian at a nonprofit health center. Jerlyn coaches, teaches, and conducts cooking demos. Always fun to see people wearing multiple hats at work. Read on to learn more. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Growing up I was always interested in health and wellness and an internal desire to help others. Before I attended college, I was unaware I could obtain a nutrition degree and instead pursued degrees in Justice Studies and Public Administration because the plan was to gain employment within a governmental agency. Several years later I became disheartened with my positon in a direct mail agency and decided to take a nutrition course at a local college. That was the first step towards my journey in the field of nutrition and dietetics and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Your Job Title?
Nutrition Education and Wellness Program Coordinator
Company you are with now?
Good Samaritan Health Center (a non-profit health center in Atlanta, GA)
Other Social Media links you would like to include:
– Twitter: @jerlynnutrition
– Instagram: @thelifestyledietitan
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
As the solo dietitian at a nonprofit health center I wear many hats. I provide individual nutritional counseling to adults and pediatric patients with chronic illnesses such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. I coordinate and maintain health related classes and programming (i.e. FoodRx Program) along with co-teaching a diabetes education management class. I’m also responsible for presenting cooking demonstrations that empower adults and children to cook nutritious, affordable, and delicious recipes in a state-of-the-art Teaching Kitchen.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
Truthfully, it was a part of God’s plan. I was becoming dissatisfied as a clinical dietitian in a city hospital and was seeking a job to match my desire to teach nutrition classes and help individuals prevent chronic illnesses. I also wanted to live closer to my family members who resided in another state. I applied for my current position because it was a perfect opportunity to broaden and enhance my communication skills. The entire process from interviewing to relocating was seamless.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I think I was born with an altruistic gene. Helping my patients achieve their nutrition related health goals truly makes my day. I’ve learned how to interact confidently with individuals one-on-one or in a group setting. I’ve also learned how to prioritizing my day to complete my most important tasks.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
I’m still learning what success is and how to be fulfilled in this amazing profession however my advice for others is to accept any opportunity offered to you no matter how scary or intimidating it may seem. This is the best way to grow and develop.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
All types of books.