The Food and Nutrition Department at Rome Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce the addition of Clinical Dietitian Amber R. Jones, MS, RDN, to its staff, announced Jennie Chmielewski, RDN, CDN, clinical nutrition manager.
Inpatient clinical dietitians at Rome Memorial Hospital play a vital role in the healthcare team by providing nutritional care to patients with various conditions and health issues.
The clinical dietitians monitor, assess, and optimize nutrition status based on the patient’s current medical condition and/or their ability to eat. They confer with physicians and other healthcare professionals to coordinate medical and nutritional needs; they make recommendations for therapeutic diets, tube and intravenous feedings and/or dietary supplements when necessary.
Clinical dietitians also teach patients how to make nutritionally sound food choices to speed recovery, prevent disease and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A Rome native and 2010 graduate of Rome Free Academy, Jones previously worked at Rome Memorial Hospital as a registered dietetic technician and diet clerk, from 2014-2015, while attending college.
She graduated from Morrisville State College with an associate’s of applied science degree in Dietetic Technician/Food Service Administration, and received her bachelor’s of science degree in nutrition from Syracuse University. Jones went on to complete a master’s of science degree in applied nutrition at Sage Graduate Schools, Troy.
Upon completion of her master’s degree, Jones accepted a clinical dietitian position at Union Hospital of Cecil County in Delaware. When she learned that there was an opening for a clinical dietitian at Rome Memorial Hospital, however, she jumped at the chance to return.
“We are so excited to have Amber back working with our team again,” Chmielewski said. “She is very enthusiastic and upbeat about her work providing the best nutritional guidance for our patients and residents. We were thrilled that after completing her education, Amber decided to come back home to be a part of our Rome Memorial Hospital family.”
Jones said she decided on a career in nutritional service for two reasons. First, she laughed and said, was because she “loves food.” Secondly, Jones said she has always had a desire to care for people’s health but realized early on that the medical side of health care was not for her.
“When I realized that I could be part of health care by making sure patients are getting the proper nutrition, I knew becoming a dietitian was the perfect fit for me,” Jones said.
In her new position, Jones works with Rome Memorial Hospital’s Residential Health Care Facility (RHCF) residents and their families, to assure that the residents are getting the proper nutritional value from what they eat, while providing them with foods they are familiar with and enjoy.
Jones explained that she assesses each resident’s nutritional needs and then monitors their daily food intake to assure that those needs are being met.
“One of the best parts of my job is spending time with the residents and getting to know them,” Jones said.
“In talking with them, I get to know what they like and don’t like to eat. Food is such an important part of everyday life. In addition to providing nutrition, food provides comfort and enjoyment. However, while I do what I can to provide the residents with the foods they like, my main focus is to assure that everyone gets what they need to maintain their health.”
Another important aspect of Jones’ job is to make sure that the foods she recommends for residents are actually being consumed.
“I spend time with residents while they are enjoying their meals,” Jones said.
“I’m watching to see that they are eating enough, or making sure they don’t eat too much. I also look to see if they are having difficulty eating and I note if there are things we can suggest, including foods that are easier for them to eat or ways to get them to eat more, if needed.”
As a clinical dietitian, Jones said she finds her job very rewarding knowing that she plays an important part in keeping the RHCF residents healthy and happy. She is so happy to be able to provide that care in the facility that nurtured her career aspirations.
“I love it here,” Jones said of working at Rome Memorial Hospital. “This hospital is truly a unique place where there is such a strong feeling of community among the staff. Coming back to work here really feels like coming home.”