What has your career looked like so far?
I started my career at Leeds General Infirmary in the general medicine team. I then moved sites to cover general medicine and care of the elderly at St James University Hospital.
What is your current role?
I always knew I wanted work in gastroenterology even as a student and luckily got a band 5 in the gastroenterology team and then my band 6 post where I’ve remained since.
What do you do day to day? Does your disability impact on your role?
Since the pandemic, I received the shielding letter pretty much from the first week they were all sent out as I’m classed as extremely clinically vulnerable as a result of my connective tissue disorder and owing to that have developed a few autoimmune conditions.
The combination of my EDS and the pandemic, has meant that my role has changed from approximately 70% ward based and running a couple of outpatient clinics, to now focusing 100% on outpatient clinics as I can do this via the phone from my own home. As things have changed during the pandemic, I now come into the office twice a week. I much prefer to be part of the ward environment and seeing patients face to face.
I treat patients with all manner of digestive issues including irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease and lactose intolerance to name a few.
Any advice for someone who may be considering a career as a Dietitian who has a disability or long term condition?
It’s certainly had its challenges working fulltime with several conditions and all the unpleasant symptom that come with that, but I really feel my empathy skills have developed and hopefully my communication skills are good as I empathise a lot with feeling unwell and having lots of different treatments.
I think appropriately sharing my experience with tube feeding has been helpful with patients. I really believe that disabled dietitians or dietitians with long term conditions can still add value to patient care and have a lot to offer.