MEET THE DIETITIAN: COMMUNITY SERVICE SERIES

By Marcelle Zahn Kruger


Hi, I’m Marcelle.


I will try to keep this as short as possible.


A few facts about me; I grew up in Centurion where I matriculated from Hoërskool Zwartkop. Thereafter I moved to Potchefstroom to study at North West University and graduated in 2019. I am currently serving my community service year in Harrismith.


When you get to know me, you will realize that I am a very ambitious, hardworking, fast learner who has a passion and love for dietetics. I have always had an interest in nutrition, cooking, baking, health, diseases, science and an urge to help people. I am highly allergic to peanuts and nuts. All these factors contributed to why I became a dietitian.

As a community service dietitian, I have the wonderful opportunity to practice both as a therapeutic and community dietitian. My job entails quite a lot of different tasks; ward rounds, follow-ups with outpatients, outreaches to the surrounding clinics, planning and organising health and wellness events as well as information days, to name a few. Basically, what a day as a community service dietitian looks like, with the added bonus of coffee with colleagues. With that said, 2020 is not an accurate representation as to what a community service year should look like.

Being so young and new to the field, I don’t think that I have experienced my career highlight, as yet, and I am looking forward to what it may be. But I can say that the most rewarding aspect of my job is when you see the changes and improvements in your patients, especially paediatric patients, they just show results much faster. As a dietitian we have the privilege to work within a wide field of practice and different types of circumstances as well as work settings. This I enjoy thoroughly, because we are not confined to a limited field of work. But with that said, I also think this contributes to the challenges of being a dietitian, practicing in such a wide scope and that there are always new guidelines or information to stay on top of. Without a challenge, how can you grow?

I find that when people hear I am a dietitian, they make a lot of assumptions and prepare a list of questions to ask. I just want to set the record straight with one of the common assumptions: Yes, I do eat chocolates, some will say it is my favourite food. To those asking about what I think about fad diets, what I suggest they should do regarding weight loss and if I also did a four-week course to become a dietitian, make an appointment and we can discuss all these questions further.


Thank you.

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