Jordann Henkelman ’04 was an active student at OSU, volunteering with the Student Dietetic Association and as president and advocate for SPEDA – Students Promoting Eating Disorder Awareness. Those experiences helped shape Jordann’s career path that started with her 12-month dietetic internship at Oregon Health and Sciences University. “I have found my career as a dietitian to be challenging and rewarding,” she said in a recent email. “I am grateful that I was able to find a career path that fit my personality so perfectly.” We asked Jordann for an update and she sent this news.
I graduated from Oregon State University in 2004 with a degree in Nutrition Food Management (Dietetics) with a minor in Psychology. In 2006, I completed a yearlong Dietetic Internship at Oregon Health and Sciences University. During this internship, I performed clinical rotations at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and the Portland State University Student Health Center. After completing my internship, I started working nearly full time for Providence and part time for the Portland State University in the Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) Center. I have found that both of these jobs complement one another very well.
At Providence, I work in several different roles. I serve as an inpatient dietitian conducting patient assessments, work with physicians to develop nutrition treatment plans for patients, and provide nutrition education to patients who are newly diagnosed with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease. I find this job to be highly challenging. My work as an inpatient dietitian at Providence has helped me to develop an understanding of complex disease processes. My favorite part of this job is being part of an interdisciplinary care team that works together to improve the lives of patients.
I find my role as an outpatient dietitian at the Portland State University SHAC to be very different. At Portland State University, I focus more on disease prevention by helping patients to make important life changes. Instead of treating acute illnesses, I counsel patients regarding healthy eating techniques in the hopes of helping them to avoid chronic illness down the road. This job often requires skills of motivational interviewing and other counseling techniques. These skills are also useful with the many patients I work with that struggle with eating disorders.
The skills that I gained performing outpatient nutrition assessments at Portland State University helped me to transition into the role of outpatient dietitian at Providence. I now frequently work as a dietitian in the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Providence, which has been a great fit for me. In this position, I teach classes to patients with heart disease. I take great satisfaction in the process of planning and teaching these classes. I feel that my work reaches a larger audience and has a significant impact. For example, in honor of National Heart Month in February, I teamed up with a cardiologist as well as a local chef to give several presentations to the Portland community entitled. Over several hundred people attended these lectures.