Get to Know: Peggy Yiptong & Bryndis Blondal, Registered Dietitians

By Bridget Burling

What does your role entail?

Peggy: As a Registered Dietitian, our focus is to promote, maintain, support and improve someone’s nutrition. At Humber River Hospital, we have 38 Registered Dietitians, and we work in various clinical areas. We work with people of all ages, from newborns to seniors. As an inpatient dietitian, I focus on nutrition through nutrition education, nutrition counselling, and various interventions. Some of these interventions include a therapeutic diet or adjusting a client’s nutrition regimen, whether it be tube feeding, parenteral (IV) nutrition or oral diet.

What does an average day look like for you?

Bryndis: In general, on the inpatient side, the day involves attending team rounds, seeing patients for counselling or providing education about different therapeutic diets or adjusting their therapeutic diets. The day also usually consists of performing nutritional assessments by giving a physical exam and gathering pertinent information, including anthropometric history. For those who require nutrition support, whether that be enteral (tube feeding) nutrition or parenteral (IV) nutrition, this involves working with the team to ensure that patients are appropriate for these modalities. Additionally, we are performing assessments and calculating what the nutritional regime should be and then closely monitor and make adjustments as needed.  The role is collaborative, and we work closely with all team members.

How has your job changed as a result of COVID-19?

Peggy:  Our day-to-day has not really changed; we continue to focus on nutrition. However, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some specific nutrition-related recommendations from various dietetic associations. Taking that in mind, we have been screening more patients to make sure that their nutritional needs are met.

Another change is having to don and doff PPE for every patient interaction. The use of PPEs makes it more challenging to communicate with patients as they cannot hear us as well, and cannot see our mouths or read our lips to better understand what we are saying.

What motivates you?

Bryndis: Seeing the impact of nutrition on a patient’s medical status, being able to follow the patients while they are in the hospital and seeing how food is such an important component of their treatment plan, motivates me. Also, working with the team is motivating. The role is very collaborative, and we have a great team at Humber that makes it exciting to come to work.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy during COVID-19:

  1. Eat a healthy balanced diet
  2. Limit processed foods & junk foods
  3. Cook your meals to control what is in it/be mindful when eating takeout or at restaurants
  4. Stay hydrated
  5. Maintain physical activity and get enough sleep

[Pictured: Peggy Yiptong & Bryndis Blondal]