This particular client applied for an entry level graduate role as a Dietitian/Nutritionist in Queensland Health. The written application process involved the preparation of a two-page statement requiring the addressing of five competencies. My client was successful in gaining an interview, being offered the role and gladly accepting. Following are excerpts from two of the competencies.

Demonstrated base to increasing level of knowledge, expertise and skill in nutrition.

In my recent two clinical placements at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH), I gained a solid knowledge base on cases (basic through to complex), which I now apply to my work practices on a daily basis. These cases included high protein/high energy diets within Neurosurgery Ward and Head and Neck Cancer Outpatient Clinic at the RBWH and the Oncology wards at the RCH. More complex cases included infant feeding and failure to thrive; cerebral palsy and allergies cases at the RCH; enteral feeding cases (PEG and Nasogastric feeding) in Neurosurgery, Head and Neck Cancer Outpatient Clinic and ICU; and enteral feeding and total parental nutrition cases in Oncology at the Royal Children’s Hospital. I expanded my knowledge by conducting research on information into clinical files at the RBWH in the areas of Head and Neck Cancer and Neurosurgery in order to gain a deeper understanding of these areas. I understand the RBWH Swallowing and Nutrition Management Guidelines for patients with Head and Neck Cancer, and the processes that occur in this area. I also research treatment protocols in the Oncology ward at RCH in order to understand the treatment stages and protocols for children with cancer.

Demonstrated ability to participate effectively in a multidisciplinary team.

In my current role as a Nutrition Assistant, I work collaboratively in a team environment (up to 8 staff) on a daily basis, under the close supervision and guidance of a supervisor. I also liaise regularly with multidisciplinary teams including dietitians, speech pathologists, food service staff and nursing staff to ensure diet requirements are implemented correctly. During my clinical placement, I liaised regularly with these members of staff and with medical teams. I discuss issues with medical teams; for example, on issues surrounding patients who have been experiencing reflux from nasogastric feeds. I approach doctors with my recommendations on changing the feed to a higher density feed which would result in reducing the volume. Doctors have supported my decisions and further assisted with the reflux by authorising appropriate medication. The outcome of this collaboration results in the patients no longer experiencing reflux. In order to ensure effective management of enteral feeding for patients who are being discharged home, I discuss the discharge process with nutrition assistants to organise the necessary equipment and feeds for home enteral feeding. When dealing with patients who are continuously losing weight on the enteral feeding regimen, I liaise and consult with fellow dietitians and medical teams on whether to increase the requirements to ensure that weight loss is minimised or stabilised.

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Annie Cerone