I absolutely love working with people and I love food! I’ve always wanted my work to encompass both of those things and dietetics does just that. The more I’ve worked in this field, the more I’ve fallen in love with it; I’m so glad I made the choice to become a dietitian.
I worked in the NHS for four years, and from 2021 onwards I was working in a busy Intensive Care Unit. My primary role in that job was to ensure the good nutritional care of patients in an Intensive Care setting during that very acute period when they might not be able to eat and drink as they previously did. When patients are very unwell in intensive care, they may need a ventilator to help with their breathing. This means they may not be able to eat or drink by mouth. So it was our job as dietitians to ensure patients stayed well-nourished when they’re unable to receive nutrition in the same way they had done previously. This might be via enteral nutrition (tube feeding) or parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding).
After being in critical care for a period of time, patients can have a massive rehabilitation journey ahead of them as well. Dietitians also play a role in the multidisciplinary team looking after patients beyond their time in critical care. Dietitians work as part of a huge team that are made up of a variety of health care professionals including physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, doctors and nurses to name a few. It’s the collaboration and support of all these different health care professionals that makes the difference to patients. Everyone really comes together with their own unique contribution to a patient’s journey towards recovery.
I really enjoyed my role in the NHS; it was highly rewarding and I learnt so much during my time there. But after four years, I fancied a bit of a change and wanted to learn some new skills. When the opportunity arose to apply for the role of Medical Affairs Manager in the adult tube feeding team at Nutricia, I jumped at the chance. It was a great opportunity because I'm still working in the area of clinical nutrition and can apply everything that I have learned from my time working in the NHS. I have been at Nutricia for six months now and I’m really enjoying learning lots of new things.
No two days are the same and the work is incredibly varied, which is something that I actually really enjoy. We do lots of different things, from working with products when they're still in the very early stages of development, right through to the other side when they are being used by healthcare professionals and patients.
What I didn’t realise while I was working in a clinical environment was how much work goes into the development of every product that Nutricia provides - as well as the service that is provided alongside the products themselves. It has been really interesting to see behind the scenes and get some insight into the huge number of people, their expertise and the amount of teamwork that is required to provide Nutricia’s products and services. It has been incredibly eye-opening.
I think that the role of dietitians in clinical and non clinical settings is becoming increasingly understood. I feel really privileged that Nutricia has made it possible for me to apply and develop my skills as a dietitian in a new environment, as part of an organisation that places such a high value on expertise and teamwork.