Sunday, 15 January 2017

Concerns of an Olah who is a Dietician

The previous two posts have focused on details related to types of salaries and working conditions for health professionals in Israel. These can be seen on the links here:

Following the second post, I received a message from a dietician who has given me permission to share her experience. 
"Hi! I saw your post on the FaceBook group "Keep Olim" about health professionals. I am a registered dietitian who made aliyah recently. In American hospitals, dietitian salaries are often much lower than other healthcare professionals (~$40,000 or so per year), even though we are managing tube feedings, ordering and evaluating labs, etc. the reasons given for the low salary tends to be that we are a female dominated profession, and that we don't make the hospital money -- joint commission requires all admitted patients be seen but we are not a "billable service" such as PT, etc. Anyway, apparently full time hospital dietitians in Israel only make 6000 NIS per month. I don't understand how people survive like this. I have my MS degree, had to do a year of clinicals, took a national exam to get my license, and have to get continuing education credits to maintain my license. I've heard many dietitians work multiple part time jobs. I read one post from a dietitian who said she is cleaning houses for money on top of her regular job. I still have to take the exam to get licensed here but I'm worried I will have to give up a career that I love and am passionate about in order to survive here.

I have five years experience, including being the cardiac dietitian and cardiac intensive care unit dietitian for a hospital, which is ranked #5 in America for cardiology! I have a concern as to how will I ever be able to pay back my American student loans with this salary? I can not begin working in Israel until I have my license and have to wait for the next date to write my exam."

This is a very understandable concern and one that many Olim face. Have you found a similar situation? How did you overcome it?  

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

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