Background

Angela Matson is a Senior Cystic Fibrosis Dietitian, and a Credentialed Diabetes Educator. Angela has worked in the areas of Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Gastroenterology, Lung Transplant, and Diabetes over the past 17 years. She is a seasonal lecturer for 2 universities, and is a mum to 2 children.  Angela completed her post-graduate Dietetics in 1995 in the U.K. and has worked at The Prince Charles Hospital, Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre in Brisbane, QLD, since 1998.  In 2000 she was awarded a CF allied health education and travel scholarship and travelled to Prof. Antoinette Moran’s clinic in Minnesota USA, which was the beginning of her interest in the practical management of CF related diabetes.  She obtained her post-graduate in Diabetes Education in 2011 and became a credentialed diabetes educator in 2014.

Angela has previously held the position of Convenor of the CF Interest group within the Dietitians Association Australia (DAA) and is a co-author of the Australasian Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition in Cystic Fibrosis, and Australian Standards of care for CF related diabetes.

 

Tell me a little bit about your job and/or describe a typical day for you?

My job involves the clinical care of adults (about 300) attending the state-wide Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. I am also involved in quality & research with our CF team. This is one of the largest Adult CF Centres in Australia and it services a huge geographical area. Our CF Centre has a dedicated CF ward, separate thoracic wards and 4 CF clinics per week, as well as outreach clinics to Townsville & Cairns biannually.

A typical day commences with clinical handover or a CF management meeting or CF journal club with the CF multidisciplinary team. Most of my day involves assessing & reviewing patients, when I am not in clinic my work involves research – I’m involved in multiple projects all at various stages, and education – I am currently preparing talks for an international diabetes conference that is hosting a cystic fibrosis related diabetes session. Management aspects include involvement in quality & research portfolios within the Nutrition & Dietetics Department and departmental meetings.

 

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I love the nutritional diversity of working in CF care, I love the CF team that I work with who are so supportive and inspiring, I love the Australian & New Zealand CF Dietitians who collaborate in progressing nutritional management & outcomes, I love the travel opportunities to present innovative work and I love the clinical patient contact, having been around for 17 years in this area there are many ups & downs – but definitely more ups than downs! I luckily get to see the positive advances in CF care and the difference this is making to a truly remarkable and resilient group of young people.

 

Tell me a little bit about your career in dietetics thus far and/or why did you choose dietetics as a career?

I started out studying Sports Studies & Psychology  (Liverpool, UK) then progressed to a Post Grad in Dietetics (Glasgow, UK)  – the plan was that I would focus on Sports Nutrition & Lecturing but once I experienced Clinical Dietetics over an 8 month placement across Northern Ireland & Scotland I was hooked on Clinical Dietetics. My first taste of Cystic Fibrosis was in the Belfast CF Centre in N Ireland as a student.

I worked in diverse areas before specialising in gastroenterology working in North of England, then moved to Australia and arrived at The Prince Charles Hospital  in 1998 – 1 week into my arrival to cover a maternity leave position in Cystic Fibrosis. I have stayed in the CF Centre ever since, it’s hard to believe I am one of the oldest members in the team, when people ask if I have worked in the area long I say …” no , its only been  17 years so far”! I have also enjoyed working in Lung Transplant, ICU, Diabetes and General Dietetics but after having children I have remained part time in the CF Centre. There are so many nutritional aspects and diversity of care in CF Dietetics, that I still keep clinical skills in lots of different areas. I have further trained as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator (CDE). CF related Diabetes is emerging as a CF age related complication with increasing survival. We have our own CF Endocrine service so the progression to CDE just made sense to specialise in this interesting area.

 

What would be your number one tip to someone starting their career in dietetics?

Immerse yourself in lots of different areas to see what really pushes your buttons!

 

What is one interesting fact about you?

I love being creative – my current project is soy based candle making with my daughter.