I wanted to take the opportunity to explain why, at Not Your Average Nutritionist, we are committed to sticking with telehealth services as many other providers are moving back to in person services.I intend for us to stick with just telehealth for the foreseeable future. I’m not going to say we will never get an in-person office, but right now this is what’s making sense and I’m going to tell you my reasons why, and why it’s really important for you.
I have several reasons for staying 100% virtual, and I’m going to explain 3 of them here.
#1 – Space and Sickness
First I need to give you a little bit of background – story time!
When I had my in person office in downtown San Luis Obispo it was very tiny. SLO is a very expensive area, so I got what I could afford and it was 7 1/2 feet wide by 11 feet long. There was no room for social distancing in there, so of course at the peak of Covid we couldn’t be in there. So when Covid hit, there was no use for the office, and I gave it up August 2020.
My home office is a tiny bit larger (8×10) and theoretically we could socially distance, but it’s still tight, and doesn’t make me feel good about the ability of respiratory illnesses to spread in an enclosed space, whether it’s Covid or a cold like I currently have.
On to the story…
Starting last winter, especially in January, we were getting a lot of client inquiries for people who really wanted to work in person with their dietitian. I get it, we are all so zoom fatigued. I totally get it people, I’m on the computer all day too.
As we talked, I had to turn people away, or they agreed to do virtual. I had one person in particular that wanted to come in person, and that is the story I want to tell you.
This woman reached out and really wanted to work with me in person, and it was a referral source that I really trusted, so I thought about it.
*I also need to throw out there like I work in mental health, and I don’t want everyone knowing my home address. Right? It just makes sense.
Ok, so I was feeling alright about this particular person potentially coming to my home, but because Covid is still here (and at that time omnicron was surging) I was really hesitant, so I said let’s try online first and if you really hate it then maybe we can move to in-person in my home office.
I am so so glad that we went with virtual because at the time of our second or third session that we were doing virtual she contacted me and said that she needed to pause for because she was very sick with Covid-19.
Now, we don’t know exactly when and where she got it, don’t know how long she was contagious, but it would’ve been very easy for her to spread Covid to me (I probably would have been just fine, but who wants to be sick?) and then to my yet-to-be-vaccinated three-year-old, or spread to others who could be very immunocompromised.
Obviously, I don’t want to get other people sick, in fact I have a nasty cold right now and I don’t want to give that to other people either. I feel like we dodged a bullet there, and it really solidified for me that telehealth it’s just keeping us all very safe and healthy right now.
#2 The BEST staff in the nation
The second reason that I really am planning to stay completely virtual for The foreseeable future is because we get to have the best providers at Not Your average Nutritionist!
I’ve been so fortunate to have the best dietitians I could possibly find on my team and that would not have happened if I had to stick to our local pool of candidates. I’m not saying that there’s not awesome people locally, but it’s a small town and if I was sticking with only people in the San Luis Obispo area that really limits who I can hire and who is the best to serve you.
I have had with three fantastic dietitians as a part of my team, and only one of them was actually local at the time of hiring (and part way through working for me she actually moved several hours away). Virtual work allows me to hire the best people to work with you so that you are going to get excellent care, the best counselors – really, really, awesome people. I don’t want to have to say, “this is my tiny pool of applicants to choose from,” I want to be able to search nationwide for the best providers for you.
Sometime this year I will be hiring at least one more dietitian, and I like knowing that I get to cast a huge net to really select the best people.
If you’re working with Not Your Average Nutritionist, you are getting the cream of the crop dietitians!
#3 Time, Convenience, and Location
Reason number three is that telehealth is so convenient!
We are able to work with people in so many different locations, and we can fit you into a tighter schedule.
For example, if we’re seeing you on your lunch break and have to drive to our office, squeeze in an hour appointment, and then commute back… you’d have to take a super extra long lunch break! Instead, with virtual, you can shut your office door, log into your computer, and eat lunch while you chat with your dietitian.
With telehealth, we can easily get you into a lot of time slots, and we can work with people who wouldn’t physically be able to get to us. Our dietitians are currently licensed to work with clients in 22 states throughout the US for one-on-one medical nutrition therapy (which includes eating disorder treatment). Nutrition counseling is based on state licensure, we are not just “nutritionist/coaches,” we are medical professionals, and just like a doctor or therapist we are licensed state-to-state.
We love working with our locals, but we can work with people all over! Being licensed in a lot of states, we’re not stuck to our tiny local area (even though we have a lot of connections here and know the other providers and schools really well), we get to work with people in areas where they may not have access to expert care, or require a different approach. We love getting to meet people from different parts of the US, and (with our support group that is open globally) we had the opportunity to work with people from other areas of the world, which is truly wonderful. For the majority of people reading this right now, we wouldn’t get to meet you if we only offered in-person services.
I am just so thankful that we have the technology, and we were providing telehealth before it became the “cool thing” that everyone had to do. Not Your Average Nutritionist has been providing HIPAA compliant telehealth for several years pre-COVID, and it works really well! Clients are getting the same care. I would say the main reason why people don’t want to meet providers online right now is that we are just so fatigued from staring at the computer all day. I know, I get it.
As more things are opening up, and you’re getting out into the world (and exposed?), I hope that you’ll see that some things are still worth keeping online – including your healthcare sessions. I still see my therapist through telehealth and it feels the same (plus, I get to snuggle up on my couch).
I hope this was helpful in explaining why we are continuing with only virtual services. If you have other questions about telehealth, or our services in general, please contact us.
We are happy to serve you.