My name is Jacqueline Baker and I currently work as the Senior Accredited Practising Dietitian with Oncology Clinics Victoria, an association of medical oncologists and clinical Haematologists, across four locations in Victoria.
My role within Oncology Clinics Victoria was a new role initially and therefore I had the opportunity to build the dietetic service within the existing multidisciplinary team, which includes an oncology nurse, psycho-oncologist and exercise physiologist. My typical day involves providing medical nutrition therapy to patients undergoing cancer treatment, attending meetings with the medical team, undertaking research, training staff and consulting to external organisations to provide nutrition information in the form of lectures, articles and webinars regarding the role of nutrition in cancer. My current area of interest is the dietary management of weight gain following breast cancer treatment.
After graduating I worked in a number of public and private hospitals in Queensland, predominantly in the area of oncology, prior to enjoying six months of travel in Europe. On my return to Australia I was offered my job with Oncology Clinics Victoria and I made the move to Melbourne to pursue this opportunity. Relocating for work is a great experience and challenges you both professionally and personally (especially when you move from sunny Brisbane to not so sunny Melbourne). I enjoy being challenged and the variety that a career as a dietitian can offer us. I like to think that my career will see me working in a number of different areas of dietetics in many new locations.
What would be your number one tip to someone starting their career in dietetics?
For those of you just starting your career in dietetics, don’t put limitations on the specific area, location or population group that you want to work with, broaden your search to increase your opportunities. You will surprise yourself with what areas interest you.