I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian working full time at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. I love spending time with my family and friends and always find excuses to include and share delicious food. Before settling down to focus on my career in dietetics I travelled around the world for six months taste testing many different cuisines.
•Tell me a little bit about your job and/or describe a typical day for you?
I work in the clinical setting in a large tertiary hospital so most of my days are spent focusing on the patients. Currently my case mix includes Cardiology, Thoracic Surgery, Heart Failure and Diabetes which brings great variety. I see individuals for many different reasons such as nutrition support, weight loss, diabetes or dietary modification of sodium and/or fats as both inpatient and outpatients. I also run group education sessions about general healthy eating and if necessary I visit patients in their home with the multidisciplinary heart failure team consisting of physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, nurses and pharmacists.
Some of my days also involve supporting and mentoring Dietetic students during their practical placement to gain experience in the prescription of medical nutrition therapy in the hospital setting. Additionally, I represent our dietetic department in a multidisciplinary marketing committee where we coordinate events and projects to promote allied health within the hospital.
•What do you most enjoy about your role?
There are many things I love about my role, one is the opportunity to interact with many different people every day including patients, their families and/or other health professionals. It is essential to communicate with the broader team involved in the patients care to achieve quality outcomes. Additionally, I enjoy helping people make changes using practical strategies and it is very rewarding seeing them achieve their nutrition related goals. As I am lucky enough to work at a large hospital I am exposed to a huge variety of different cases where I am continually challenged to problem solve, whilst being part of a large, diverse and inspirational team of Dietitians.
•Tell me a little bit about your career in dietetics thus far and/or why did you choose dietetics as a career?
My interest in human nutrition and love of food influenced me to pursue this career. I started at university in public health nutrition before completing a postgraduate masters degree in dietetics. Before obtaining my qualifications I worked as a Nutrition Assistant at a small private hospital gaining experience and exposure to foodservice systems and volunteered at the Heart Foundation, Healthy Kids Association expos and different research projects.
•What would be your number one tip to someone starting their career in dietetics?
I would suggest seeking out volunteer, work experience and networking opportunities as much as possible plus be involved in dietetic groups. Try to get exposure to as many different areas as possible because there are so many pathways to follow with a career in dietetics and you don’t know where you will end up. Nutrition is continually evolving so be open to job opportunities and new experiences.
•What is one interesting fact about you?
Whilst in South Africa, I bungy jumped off the worlds highest bridge jump (216m)!