Dietetic Career Spotlight on Kristin Greenspan Addona, RD, CDN, CDE, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
By STACEY DUNN-EMKE, MS, RD on JULY 15, 2014
Meet Kristen Addona, Ambulatory Care Clinical Nutritionist for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP). She shares her wisdom and career path that we could all learn from! Enjoy. – Stacey
Stacey: What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Kristin Greenspan Addona, RD, CDN, CDE: I always had an interest in a profession that would allow me to help and educate others which is why I chose psychology as my major in college. During my junior year, my mother took me to see a nutritionist because she did not think I was eating properly. Although I knew nothing about the field of nutrition, I had such a positive experience with the nutritionist that I decided to research the profession. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated by the required science courses, but I am glad that I did not let organic chemistry hold me back and I could fulfill my dream to help and educate!
Describe your Job Title and Company:
Ambulatory Care Clinical Nutritionist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP)
– Facebook: www.facebook.com/newyorkpresbyterian
– Twitter @nyphospital, #nypnutrition
– Instagram: http://instagram.com/nyphospital
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
One of the aspects that make my job so unique is that there really is not a typical day. Every patient has very unique needs and personality, so each counseling session can be very different. Whether at an oncology infusion center or a private practice setting, I may assess and counsel patients with a variety of health concerns, such as obesity or diabetes. I help them manage their nutritional needs at the same time as providing emotional support and encouragement. Not only do I educate each patient on his or her specific diet, but I consistently act as their nutrition ”coach” during active treatment or to promote a healthier lifestyle. Many patients look for menu ideas which I enjoy sharing. For example, if patients are having trouble eating due to taste changes from chemotherapy, I will help them strategize ways to enhance the taste of foods and give them tips to increase their intake.
One of the joys of working in a comprehensive treatment program such as infusion oncology is my work with the interdisciplinary team, including social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors. As the team’s nutritionist, I proudly contribute to the patient’s overall care plan.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
My first job out of my clinical internship was working as an inpatient dietitian here at NYP, before spending 7 years in an outpatient setting. I truly enjoyed the outpatient experience so much, I wanted to build a small private practice. I contacted my previous manager and interviewed for a part time position to supplement my private practice. This is one of the reasons why I love my profession so much – it has allowed me the flexibility to create my own career path and to work in different environments.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born with the ability to empathize with others, am known for my positive and enthusiastic outlook on life, and adapt easily to different situations. Through the years, I learned how to be an active listener, to understand what changes a patient is ready to make and what is important. Using the science of nutrition in a creative way, I have also learned, helps patients meet specific goals and overcome their challenges.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Never stop learning… listening is just as important as doing, in fact it is usually more important. Seek out your passions and what you truly love to do and success will follow….
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Organic fruits and vegetables… and plane tickets.