After completing a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Nutrition & Dietetics at the Queensland University of Technology Sue-Ellen began her career at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. After gaining three years of valuable clinical experience in an acute care setting Sue-Ellen accepted a position as a Key Account Manager for the Advanced Medical Nutrition division of Nutricia. This role involved providing information and education to APD’s, nurses and pharmacists. This position challenged Sue-Ellen to extend her skills not only clinically but also to develop business management and contract negotiation skills. Whilst on maternity leave with her first son, Sue-Ellen completed a Diploma in management. Currently, Sue-Ellen is working as a community dietitian on the Sunshine Coast.
Tell me a little bit about your job and/or describe a typical day for you?
What a typical day for me is like has varied greatly over the years. At the moment I am in a part-time position as a community dietitian. My caseload is varied and I spend my days not only attending home visits for patients requiring oral & enteral nutrition support, but also running group education sessions, outpatient clinics and supervising less experienced dietitians. I am also a co-owner & director of a business with my husband. When I’m not a community dietitian I manage staff and the administration side of our business. On top of this I am a mother to two beautiful boys.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
I love that as Dietitians our skillset can be applied in a variety of roles and different industries. I also enjoy working with other dietitians. As a profession we are motivated, hard working and inspiring.
Tell me a little bit about your career in dietetics thus far and/or why did you choose dietetics as a career?
I was initially interested in the science of genetics and forensics, however whilst studying a science degree in human anatomy & biology I had a light bulb moment when studying the digestive system. I realised that nutrition science was what really interested me and I made the decision to major in Nutrition & Dietetics.
What would be your number one tip to someone starting their career in dietetics?
Three tips I would give to someone starting their career in dietetics would be to network as much as possible, never stop learning and keep your knowledge up to date and be open to working in non-traditional dietetic roles.
What is one interesting fact about you?
Despite a career in food science I still can’t manage to perfect the boiled egg or a smooth mashed potato!