DIABETES TRAINING 101
for something nutrishus
We are pleased to feature Michelle Archer, RD (Registered Dietitian), CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator), Owner of Diabetes Training 101 Inc. in Regina, SK for our first interview of the What RDs Do series. I first met Michelle while I was an intern in Regina and she shared insight into private practice over a cup of coffee, now she is "Making a Difference in Diabetes".
Why did you become a RD?
It may sound cliché but I became a Dietitian to help people. I knew that food had the power to transform a person’s life and I want to be a part of that.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
Right now I work in private practice. I own and operate my own diabetes education company.
How would you explain what you do?
I work on several first Nations in Saskatchewan providing diabetes education services. I am passionate to help individuals ‘Discover their Diabetes’ and discover the diabetes plan that work best for them with the foods they actually eat, the activities they already do and the life they already live. I create and deliver diabetes education programs and training for health care professionals and those working in the diabetes field so that they can also make a difference in diabetes.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
I work with clients on their diabetes management or other health issues. I often teach my clients nutrition strategies/therapeutic diet plans, which help them achieve their health goals, or I may help a client create a realistic plan to reach their goals. I create and deliver presentations, handouts and training programs on a variety of diabetes or nutrition related topics. I regularly advocate for food security for my clients and aim to improve their food environment through advocacy and policy development. I also read journals and watch continuing education webinars to keep up with the science of diabetes. I also serve as the volunteer chairperson of the Southern SK diabetes educator section of the Canadian Diabetes Association where I volunteer my time to the advancement and education of diabetes professionals.
What has been your career path?
Out of internship I started as a community dietitian in a rural setting. I then switched to a health educator position within a Tribal Council where I did halftime diabetes education and half time sexual health education. After having children I went into private practice and started up a full-service nutrition education company where I worked with individuals to improve their health and also led presentations and workshops for various corporate and non-profit clients. My current business is Diabetes Training 101 Inc. where I focus on diabetes management and education.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I am a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and I am well educated in running a sole proprietorship business and a small corporation.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
In an ideal world, all Canadians will have access to the expertise of a registered dietitian regardless of their health status, income status or geography. Everyone can benefit from evidence based nutrition health information. In a world where the cost of treating health conditions is rising, access to professionals who can have such a profound impact on health should not be limited.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
That we are the food police and tell people what and how to eat. While we may prescribe a diet to an individual to correct a health issue influenced by nutrition such as a texture modified diet to someone with a swallowing difficulty, many dietitians work with their clients to help the client achieve goals that are set by the client. I encourage clients to set realistic goals and provide education and support services aimed towards the client achieving those goals. I am successful when my clients are successful.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I am passionate for others to know that a healthy diet or a perfect diet is not a prerequisite to good blood sugar control! I also want people to know that a lot has changed in diabetes and sometimes diabetes myths are making individuals work harder on their diabetes than is necessary. If you have diabetes, see your diabetes educator!
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
When you're looking to help improve your health, seek out a licensed healthcare professional such as a registered dietitian. Dietitians have a vast array of skills. Since we all eat, dietitians are in a perfect position to help almost everyone. We can even help those who can no longer eat but continue to need energy to live and stay healthy!
More about Michelle:
LinkedIn: Michelle Archer
Facebook: Diabetes Training 101 Inc.
What RDs Do.
If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!