The dietitian’s day: Liesbeth Smit-Verbruggen

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The dietitian's day: Liesbeth Smit-Verbruggen

This is Liesbeth Smit-Verbruggen’s day. In 2012 she founded Dietitian Practice Prima Voeding and she now has 4 fellow dietitians with whom she staffs various locations in Voorburg and The Hague. They also offer video calling consultations in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. The practice specializes in intestinal complaints, celiac disease, food allergies and guidance of children.

My working day started…

A 10-minute bike ride to our main location in a health center in Voorburg. When I arrive at the location, I first walk to the room where a colleague is sitting to say good morning. And then I go to my own room, open my laptop and raise my desk to work standing for the first few hours.

My workplace is…

A nice room on the 1st floore floor of a historic building. In this health center we rent 2 rooms for the entire week, which we have been able to furnish ourselves. And that makes the workplace extra pleasant. I spend almost all my working days in this room (sometimes I work from home for a day).

My agenda for this day consists of…

All kinds of regulations. I still have consultation hours an average of 1 day a week and I also arrange everything in and around the practice. Today is such a regular day. It’s the autumn holidays, so it’s nice and quiet when it comes to appointments. I have 2 appointments in my agenda. Today I am speaking to an applicant to fill the maternity leave of one of my colleagues. Hopefully we will now be able to fill in the leave, because it has already been canceled twice at the last minute. And I have a regular bi-weekly catch-up with another colleague planned. Between appointments, I send a tip that is shared among the employees of a transport company, where we are doing a project on healthy food and lifestyle. I look at our location figures to see how each location is doing financially. If the number of consultations is not in balance with the number of consultation hours, adjustments are necessary. The first step is to see if we can provide more clients at one location. If that does not work structurally, then after a year I can, for example, decide to close that location again. I am also investigating whether we can save telephone costs. I look at how many GBs everyone now uses monthly and whether we could then take out a cheaper subscription or switch to another telephone provider. I also email general practitioners in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen where we recently started offering our online services. As a native of Zeeland-Flemish, the shortage of dietitians there is close to my heart and I want to offer a helping hand.

The fun/challenging thing about my work is…

The variety. During my consultation hours I see many complex cases. And the other days my challenge is to organize a well-functioning and fun practice. I have not been doing this alone for a long time now, but together with my wonderful colleagues.

Today I was surprised by…

Our customer satisfaction rating. On our website we have a widget where you can see live how satisfied our clients are with us over the past year. And there is now a nice 9.5!

Looking back on this day…

I didn’t get everything done. The days when I don’t have consultation hours are varied, but actually always too short for all the to-do’s that I have to do or would like to do. As a practice owner you could work day and night, but family life is also important. By indicating my boundaries better and better, I have now been able to find a nice balance. The practice is good and growing and I have enough time for my family and my own growth. This way I can keep up this work until I retire!


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