Inspirational Story

Joanna Dunn

Name: Jo Dunn

Role: Dietetic Assistant Practitioner at Bradford Royal Infirmary

What is your role?

I work within the acute dietetic team as an assistant practitioner at Bradford Royal Infirmary and have been in post since 2017.


What was your journey to get to this point?

I have worked in the NHS since leaving school and completed a level 3 apprenticeship before going on to university.  I completed my Nutritional Studies degree at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett) in 2014 and then went on to work in Children’s oncology as a care coordinator.


What was it about the role of dietetic assistant practitioner that made you want to go for it?

My background has always been hospital based, I was previously working in a role within the NHS but it was mostly admin based and I knew I wanted a job working more closely with patients.

I have always I wanted to work within dietetics but knew I could not be a Dietitian without a dietetic degree. When I saw the job advertisement I thought it was the perfect fit!

I nearly didn’t apply when I first saw the role advertised as I really struggled in university, I found lectures and assignments difficult and confusing and even though I really wanted this role I was worried it would be too challenging.

But in fact the opposite has happened! I have learned so much about myself and really feel I have really thrived as a person since starting my role. Through being part of such a supportive team I have gained more confidence and learned so much. I’m so glad I applied.

Its brilliant seeing different teams working together to provide patient care and I enjoy being part of that

What is it about your role that you enjoy the most?

I love being on the wards and speaking with patients every day and I really enjoy learning about people’s lives. Its brilliant seeing different teams working together to provide patient care and I enjoy being part of that.

My role has really developed my dietetic knowledge and I feel it has helped bring together what I learned at university and put it into practice. It’s exciting to learn new things and I find it rewarding when I can put my knowledge into practice to benefit patients care. I’m really lucky to be part of such an amazing team and know I would not have developed or enjoyed it as much as I have without them.


What does your role look like day to day?

My job is a supportive role to the acute dietetic team. I hold a small caseload of patients which cover elderly and cardiology wards and work with patients who require oral nutrition support.

I work closely with patients and nursing staff to formulate a plan to best support the patients nutrition. I undertake nutritional assessments, calculate nutritional requirements then formulate a plan.

I escalate patients to the dietitian when I feel they need a prescription for nutritional supplements or if they require enteral feeding.  I also arrange follow up/ discharge plans when patients are ready to go home and will refer them to the appropriate services.