At Work


Workers Around The Region

August 10, 2005|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to The Sun

Jordan B. Davidson

Registered dietitian, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore

Age: 29

Years in business: Five, the last two at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Salary: The median salary for a dietitian in Baltimore is $47,160, according to

How he started: Davidson said he liked the medical field and began taking pre-med classes. A friend recommended a nutrition class, where all of the science he had learned came together. "Nutrition shows you chemistry and shows you how it works and functions in your body. It clicked for me and made sense for me and was very interesting." Davidson completed his undergraduate work at the University of Delaware and his graduate work at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., where he also did his internship. He worked at two other hospitals before coming to Bayview two years ago. Registered dietitians must complete 900 hours of supervised practice and pass an exam. He's licensed by the state.

Typical day: Davidson works from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., including one weekend every five to six weeks. He typically works with about 12 patients on any given day. His day is spent assessing the nutritional status of his patients and recommending what type of food they require. Many of his patients are inpatients and require critical care nutrition, which may include intravenous and tube feedings. Unlike most staff dietitians, Davidson is in a full-time relief position where he fills in wherever needed. "I get to dip my feet in a lot of different scenarios. It keeps me on my toes." He also teaches classes for interns.

The good: The interaction with the patients. "It's neat to see what you've done for a patient and how you applied your area of practice, knowledge and efforts. It's also good to see where [the patients] are and where they've gone."

The bad: Long hours. "I've had plenty of times where my days are much longer than I expected. ... You're here for the benefit of the patients and you do it because you like it."

No favorite food: He eats just about anything - but in moderation.

View on exercise: The role of exercise and daily physical activity is just as important as diet.

His philosophy on the job: "Be the best you can and to help out wherever you can. People are sick and they don't feel good - anything you do makes a difference."

Extracurricular activities: Rock climbing and writing for rock-climbing magazines. He also founded the Maryland chapter of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and serves as its president.

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