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Proving the power of food on Dietitians' Week

23 Jun 2021 13:46:01
Dietitians Week

During Dietitians' Week, we highlighted some of the nutrition messages from our teams.  

Public health messages we’ve shared on social media included information on salt intake, cholesterol and the keto diet.  

We also heard from some of our Dietetic Assistants (DA) to find out about what their roles entailed.

Lisa Gammons is a DA working in paediatrics:   Lisa Gammons

“I support the dietitians with milk allergy patients. I also work one day in adults, supporting the Motor Neurons Disease (MND) patients.

“The most interesting thing about my job is trying to help and support parents who are having difficulties with their baby.

“One of the most challenging things about my job is trying to support parents who want immediate results, as their babies are usually unsettled and not very happy – but diagnosing cow’s milk protein allergy can sometimes take a few weeks and is not always straightforward. So we give lots of encouragement to continue with the treatment and hopefully when their babies start improving, they are much happier.”

“Being part of a very supportive, proactive team makes me feel proud in my job. We are always very busy, but we pull together and make sure we get the job done.”  

Katherine SouthKatherine South says her role is to assist the dietitians, offering clinical support where appropriate, seeing patients and supporting care homes.

“A typical day can involve doing telephone reviews with patients and care homes, home visits to weigh patients, sending information to patients, assisting on the wards, and checking that the supplement drinks and feeds are all stocked up. There is also many other jobs that could come up, so it’s impossible to know what will happen.

“Speaking to patients is what I enjoy the most about the job, especially when it’s someone that I have seen a few times and have built up a rapport.”

“The most challenging thing about my job is juggling things. Sometimes there is lots going on at the same time and we have to prioritise.

“I feel proud of my role when the advice I’ve given has led to weight gain and the patient’s health has improved as a consequence of my support.

“Dietetics is a lovely department and I’m very proud to be part of the team, and part of dietetics.”

Alyson FedakAlyson Fedak, who is retiring soon, says about her role: “The most interesting thing about my job is reviewing patients on wards and encouraging them to eat and drink, although they are feeling ill, to try and help them feel better.

“I help them realise how powerful food is and that eating a good balanced diet will help them to be healthy and strong and, along with gentle exercise, maintain a healthy BMI. 

“Dietitians’ Week is when we usually go onto each ward and make staff and public aware of nutrition with interactive games. One year it was with fruit and vegetables in ‘feely’ boxes, everyone loved it. 

“We are a multi-cultural department. We love cooking different recipes at home and bringing it into the office for tasting sessions along with buns and cakes – yes we like sweet foods too, but as we all know – everything in moderation.

“After 26 years I am retiring and have enjoyed my time at RFT. My job has kept me healthy and fit.”