THE PRISON SYSTEM: NON-TRADITIONAL DIETITIAN ROLES

THE PRISON SYSTEM: NON-TRADITIONAL DIETITIAN ROLES

November 8, 2019 9 By William Morgan


you know I feel like a lot of dietitians
you know we don’t even think of the
inmate population needing our services
so when I found out that you are worked in
the prison system… I actually see every prisoner
that’s convicted that’s on dialysis in the
state of Louisiana so they actually have a
dialysis center in the prison
Hello everyone welcome back to my youtube
channel today I have a guy dietitian so
we’re just gonna jump right into it so
Germaine tell us about yourself
alright so my name is Germaine Guy and
I’m a Registered Dietitian in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana I’ve been a dietitian
for five years now I specialize in
renal nutrition so dealing with people with end stage kidney disease and especially finding a guy
dietitian is few and far between even
though I feel like men are becoming more
and more interested in the field of
nutrition and dietetics so definitely to
have a male dietitian speaking with us
today is a real treat.
-I had no idea that that field was
predominantly female until I got into my
first nutrition class and I was like one
of the only men in the class I think
other guys that were in a class with
like kinesiology majors that have minors in nutrition so
I thought I was going to be in class
with a bunch of athletes guys that are
into weightlifting and stuff I was
really blown away by the amount of women in this occupation.
-Earlier you mentioned that you do work
with individuals that have end-stage
renal disease so tell us um even though
that is a very common role for a
dietitian to have you do work in an
atypical setting so tell us what
non-traditional setting you work at as a
renal dietitian?
The company I work for they have
dialysis clinics all over my city and is the
predominant company and when I first got
the job they told me that I was going to
be covering two clinics which I do right
now
but one is the regular dialysis clinic
that’s in a community and the second one
which is the special one is a dialysis
clinic in prison in Louisiana so I
actually see every prisoner that’s
convicted that’s on dialysis in the state
of Louisiana so they actually have
a dialysis center in the prison.
-You know I
feel like a lot of dietitians you know
we don’t even think of
the inmate population needing our
services so when I found out that you
worked in the prison system I said oh wow
that’s that’s quite interesting
We have a wide right; most of the people
are uh, there mostly men they’re not I
find like they’re a little bit younger
than my patients in my other clinic and I think I only have
like three women right now and it’s a
lot of people like I think right now we
have around 75 inmates that are on
dialysis.
-so do you have any interaction
with the food service staff at the
prison system.
-not really because I’m
contracted just to see the dialysis
patients the food service is separate
and that’s one of the problems that I
have there because the biggest complaint
is to quality of the food and I don’t
really have a real food service manager
the person that’s over the kitchen is a
correctional officer and the prisoners
cook the food as well as serve the food and so
I’ve educated them in the past I’ve even
had the doctor go with me to the kitchen
just to emphasize how important it is for
them to follow the renal diet; I’ve made
menus for them but they kind do what they
want to do over there.
-what is what is the hardest thing is
like the phosphorous high or the albumin
low what do you find that you’re
preaching constantly as a dietitian? -That
facility phosphorus which is probably
the hardest thing to control in dialysis
patients is actually really good and I
think it’s because they get their
medications they don’t have to worry
about dealing with insurance and things like that,
but the biggest thing right now that’s
hard to control is fluid for one; in
their dorms they don’t have
air-conditioning
so this is burning up hot in south
Louisiana so they use water to cool
themselves off as well as drinking ice and
for those who don’t know dialysis
patients a lot of times they
lose the ability to urinate so they can
build up fluid really easy so they have
fluid restrictions so that’s a big deal.
They also complain about having a lot of
fluid in their food which I tried to
educate the kitchen staff on that’s like
I said those inmates that cook the food
they don’t have any culinary experience.
-Do the inmates receive commissary. -Yes
-How do you tackle that? -okay so when I first started working
there I had one of the inmates to give
me a list of all the foods that they can
buy from a commissary they usually go
once a week it depends on how much money
the inmate has and most of it is junk
food so I just took that list and split
it up with the different food groups
like and I pretty much just stay here if
you go to commissary
I know y’all gonna get junk but these are
the foods that are gonna be lower
potassium and phosphorus and things like
that just to make it a lot easier
because a lot of them because they don’t
like the quality of the food they eat
most of their food from the commissary
and they actually made different things
they call it hookups so they’ll buy
like tuna and cheese and all this stuff
and just make their own meals and stuff
they’re creative. – how do you see the
field of night
evolving to involve more renal
dietitians not working in the prison?
– I thought about that question I’m pretty
sure that there’s other renal dietitians
in other states like that it has to be
there’s gonna be dietitians, I mean renal
patients that are prisoners in every
state I know they do have federal
prisons in some states that have
dialysis centers so I think I think it’s
just gonna be the same but like in terms
of having dietitians that work at a
prison and not contracted to dialysis I’m not
sure if that’s gonna change because I think
most prisons actually just contract
dietitians instead of having a dietitian as a food service manager.
-it’s like definitely a growing field
it’s something that I’m personally
interested in I’m just waiting for it to
just spark in my area so in closing what
is your favorite part about working in
the prison system?
-I think my favorite
part is I feel like it’s easier compared
to like the other clinics because I
don’t have to deal with insurance. -How receptive are the inmates to your education?
it’s
kind of like on the streets some of them
really are into it and some of them are
not but I find like a lot of the new
patients they don’t really know a lot
about kidney disease a lot of them don’t even
know why they’re on dialysis so they are
very receptive like when I go and do my
initial education because they’re just
curious on why they have all these these
food restrictions and things like that
and then some of them I actually like
really curious about their labs like
they can’t wait to see me also so they can
know how they’re doing and they can make
improvements but then you have some that
don’t even care.-
So thank you very much
Germaine for sharing with us your role
in a non-traditional setting so in
closing
tell us the social media handles that
where we can find you? –
On Instagram it’s eat
right guy so just one word: @eatrightguy and that’s on
Facebook pretty much any kind of social
media I have that same handle but I’m
mostly on Instagram.
-Well thank you very much
Germain and remember to comment like
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