What year did you graduate from MCC and what was your major?
May 2019 with a degree in Dietetic Technology.
Why did you choose Dietetic Technology as a career?
It’s not originally what I planned on going to college for. I ended up in the Dietetic Tech program after changing my major a few times before, but once I started in the program it was so interesting and I enjoyed going to class and learning something new every day. And it’s even more fulfilling now that I have a job in the field and can put the knowledge I learned at Middlesex County College to practical use.
How have your responsibilities changed during COVID-19?
I took on more shifts and more hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve picked up shifts that are outside my usual hours and positions, learning as I go. But I’m happy to do it to help out my co-workers and residents.
You have been working additional hours to make sure the patients receive nutritional care. Why is this so important to you?
I haven’t worked at The Manor for very long. It’s only been about a year now, but in that time I’ve become close to many of the residents in long-term care and I care about them. I want to make sure everyone is doing everything they can to ensure their safety and well-being during this time. But, of course, I can only control what I do so I want to do everything I can do to ensure they have everything they need whenever I can.
How has MCC prepared you for this moment?
Everything I learned at MCC, I’ve put to practical use at work. Plus, working with another MCC Diet Tech program graduate, and Mary Piciocco, I continue learning even though I’m out of school.
What message would you share with others regarding showing acts of kindness?
This is a hard time, nothing is certain, everyone has a different option of what the best plan of action is. The only actions you can control are your own, so it’s even more important to make sure the decisions you make are positive. It’s never been more important to first consider how your words and actions will affect someone else, and I hope through this pandemic we will all learn to be kind to the people we know and love as well as every stranger we cross paths with.
“Kaitlyn Waldner (MCC Class of 2019) has been a recent addition to our work family. Originally hired to work on the Dining Service electronic health record conversion program, she is now responsible for its development in two buildings! In addition, she now completes resident food preference sheets, an invaluable tool to make sure a resident’s choices reflect what they would usually accept and monitors their nutrition status throughout their stay. She assists coordination of accurate meal delivery to the residents. Her customer service skills and nutrition-knowledge lead to her success when coordinating the menus for our residents and to her rapid response when problems occur. Kaitlyn has not missed a day and has added shifts during this crisis to make sure that our residents are cared for. As an alum from MCC’s Dietetic Technology Program, we were happy that Kaitlyn chose to work with us.”