Background

Jacinta is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist.  Since graduation Jacinta has worked in a private practice setting up Dietetics at both clinics she has been a part of. Jacinta has a particular interest in unlocking new and innovating services that will realistically assist clients in achieving and sustaining their goals long term.

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

I have just joined the team at ‘BodyPlan’ which is a new company opening in Brisbane this September of 2015. BodyPlan will provide clients with the tools that have been previously only available to more elite populations. BodyPlan specialises in DEXA body composition testing, DEXA bone mineral density testing, resting metabolic rate (RMR) and VO2 gas analysis exercise testing. As a Dietitian I know the value of these tests in providing individualised plans, effective monitoring and evaluation as well as a motivational tool, in a range of different populations. I have been working hard behind the scenes to develop an easy referral pathway as well as referral benefits for Dietitians wanting to refer their clients for testing. Where I would like to differentiate is to build strong working relationships with local referring Dietitians so they are confident in the results they are working with, our practitioners and the overall service we provide. This enables Dietitians to take their service to the next scientific level with our support, at an affordable cost for their clientele. I am a big believer in that the more successful each Dietitian is, the more successful we all are as a profession.

What do you most enjoy about your new role?

What I most enjoy about my new role is the opportunity to design and develop products on top of seeing clients. One of the highlights of this is to obviously be able to design products that other Dietitians will benefit from and enhance their service by. I have always been so grateful for the products that other Dietitians have developed that I literally use in practice every day and the thought of being able to give back to the profession by designing a service to help fellow colleagues enhance their treatment gives me an overwhelming sense of excitement and motivation.

Tell me a little bit about why you chose Dietetics as a career?

I always loved science with a passion, so I was certain I wanted to be a medical health professional. I also loved food and food preparation from quite a young age, so I naturally just gravitated towards Dietetics. The first real issue that really drove me towards Dietetics however, was actually learning about childhood obesity in early high school. It sounds cliché, but I remember this quite vividly being a turning point which cemented my motivation to become a Dietitian – I was only about 14 at the time. I guess I was one of the lucky people who just knew what they wanted to do from quite early on and stayed lucky enough to still be happy with that decision over a decade later!

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

Having being there not too long ago, my number 1 tip would be to take any opportunity you are offered and never be too scared to do something on your own. I’ve always been the sole Dietitian to run the show in my workplaces, which has been hard and at times isolating – but it has also been the greatest, most educational and character building experience of my life. Be persistent with whichever direction you want to take. No one starts off in their perfect job, but the people who are persistent and seek out opportunities themselves are the ones who are rewarded. Oh, and you can never watch too many webinars on education in nutrition.com – best resource for a quick upskill in an area!

What is one interesting fact about you?

Despite being an Exercise Physiologist I’m terrible at most sports! (Surely I can’t be the only one?!)