When the average person thinks of what a dietitian may do throughout a normal day at work, they may think they tell people what healthy foods to eat and what unhealthy foods to say away from. But, dietitians do so much more than that, particularly in the hospital setting. Megan Fobar, our Dietitian Specialist at LAC + USC Medical Center, specializes as a Burn Dietitian, helping patients who sustained severe burns with their unique nutritional needs so their bodies can heal properly.
This past year, Megan advocated for her patients in a big way. After seeing a need for a metabolic cart, a special piece of equipment that would allow her to provide more tailored care to her patients, Megan got to work on a financial proposal to bring this equipment to the LAC + USC Medical Center. Her efforts paid off when the funding was approved in the spring of 2021, and she implemented a program for metabolic cart use, including requirements for use and a detailed process. Megan was also recognized as our 2021 “Clinician of the Year” which honors the clinician who delivers on our cultural value of “be well,” to implement an innovative clinical nutrition program or resource.
We’re proud to celebrate Megan and the other 1,400+ RDNs at Morrison Healthcare every year on Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day, which is coming up on March 9th, 2022. As the nation’s food and nutrition experts, RDNs are committed to improving the health of their patients, clients, and communities. Our RDNs work in a wide variety of settings, leaving an impact on each and every one of their patient’s journeys to better health.
In honor of RDN day and Megan’s Clinician of the Year accomplishment, we took the opportunity to ask Megan about her experience as a Morrison Healthcare Dietitian Specialist. Check out our Q&A!
Q: How did your journey as a dietitian begin?
Megan: I always had a general interest in nutrition, but I decided I wanted to become a dietitian after I took a nutrition class in college and fell in love with it. I did my post-graduate internship at another hospital in California, where I realized my passion for interacting with patients and medical teams and decided I wanted to continue working in a hospital setting. After my internship ended, I started my first job with Morrison Healthcare in 2015 and I’ve never looked back since!
Q: How did you become specialized in burns?
Megan: Working in the burn unit was a complete surprise to me. As a new dietitian, I never saw myself in that role, but I love it! Every day is interesting and there are constantly new challenges. I get to see and interact with the same patients from the day they get there to the day they leave. Patients in this unit tend to have an extended stay anywhere from one week to several months, so it’s extremely rewarding to be a part of their growth and watch their progression. There was one patient who was in the hospital for seven months, and I worked with him extensively, helping him wean off tube feeding and transition back to eating by mouth as his wounds healed. It was rewarding knowing that our burn team made a huge difference in his life.
Q: What do you love about your job?
Megan: I really enjoy the patient population. Working in Los Angeles, we serve a very diverse population. There are a lot of patients who are malnourished, and we get to be a part of helping them. It’s challenging, but I know I am making a difference and our patients are very grateful and appreciative, which is rewarding. I also feel very supported and encouraged to grow in my role due to the great management. We have a fantastic team of dietitians I collaborate with, and a group of experienced dietitians that I learn from. I also mentor interns and newer dietitians, which is cool because I was in their shoes once.
Q: Why were you so passionate about getting this new equipment for your patients?
Megan: It can be a challenge to assess the needs of burn patients. Their needs are high and fluctuate a lot throughout their stay and this equipment helps us monitor changes. It helps us understand and learn the best way to tailor their diets. It’s rewarding to see this equipment help improve a patient’s recovery and be a part of their progress.
We are so proud of Megan and all of our dedicated RDNs across Morrison Healthcare who help make a difference in our patients’ lives. Thank you for all of your hard work and passion. Happy RDN Day!