Kathryn has a degree in human nutrition from the University of Ulster, Coleraine and a Postgraduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Chester. She works as a band 5 dietitian within the dietetic department at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust.
I developed the drive and ambition to establish a career in dietetics whilst studying for my undergraduate degree in human nutrition. The four-year programme encompassed many aspects of nutrition and was often taught in conjunction with the dietetics programme, therefore providing me with an in-depth knowledge and overview of the work carried out by a registered dietitian.
Following my degree, I undertook the Postgraduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Chester, comprising a further two years of academic and clinical-based study. What I particularly enjoyed about my training was working with and learning from many specialist dietitians covering a diverse range of patient groups. Successful completion of this course made me eligible for registration as a dietitian with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) .
Following completion of my postgraduate course, I spent many long days searching for that perfect job using the NHS Jobs website. I spent a lot of time and effort writing that all important personal statement, extracting key skills and past work experience which would make me stand out from the other applicants.
So what do I do from day to day? I currently cover a range of medical, surgical and orthopaedic wards, treating patients who require advice and help in terms of their nutrition in order to aid their recovery from a variety of medical problems. My job also involves working with patients who require artificial means of nutrition support because they cannot maintain their nutritional requirements through their own dietary intake.
Much of my job involves working within a multidisciplinary team with other healthcare professionals, such as speech and language therapists. I see a vast range of patients requiring dietary advice within the outpatient setting, including diabetic and obese patients and patients with gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome or coeliac disease. This aspect of my job I find really rewarding and gain job satisfaction as patients’ health and symptoms are greatly improved through dietetic input.
I really love the interaction that I have with both patients and their families, encouraging, motivating and empathising with them throughout their time spent in hospital.
Often the job can present challenges; busy patient case loads can be very demanding. Organisational skills and teamwork are paramount within dietetics.
If you are interested in pursuing a career within this exciting field, I would advise researching the range of universities offering the course. For a list of accredited courses, see the British Dietetic Association (BDA) . If applying for a nutrition and dietetics course, it is worth meeting with or shadowing a registered dietitian prior to application.
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.