Another day at work done, what should I do now? It feels so strange to get home and not have to work on an assignment or revise for an exam. Those three years flew by. Hi, my name is Nokhuthula and I’ve just graduated with a First-class Honours degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Human Nutrition and Dietetics is a three-year course which can lead to a job in the NHS working as a Registered Dietitian. A Dietitian’s role is varied, from sport to private practice and working in hospital. The variation it brings throughout this course has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but it most certainly has been the most rewarding. My time spent on the Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme at Cardiff Met though challenging, was an enjoyable one. The lecturers are extremely supportive right from the start and always willing to help when you ask for guidance. The programme requires dedication and commitment and excellent time management is crucial. I’ll miss my study nights in coffee shops, first year doesn’t seem so long ago!
For me, the best part of the programme was the three clinical placements, my first and second placements were in Betsi Cadwallader Health board whilst my final placement was with Aneurin Bevan Health Board . Placement allocations are completed by the university and if you need to move for placements, there’s plenty of support in place. The placements allowed me to consolidate all the theory learnt and put it into practice ; from Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology module which aided in my understanding of metabolic pathways, to the Human Anatomy and Physiology module which helped me develop knowledge of the GI tract and how it works. This knowledge is particularly useful in patients who have had an Ileostomy, colostomy or jejunostomy as it helps determine the likelihood of micronutrient deficiencies. This knowledge tied in nicely with all the other modules studied on the course such as Specialist Dietetics and Principles of Dietetics. Placement thoroughly prepared me for the world of employment.
Whilst I was on Placement 3 in March, I managed to secure my first job as a Band 5 Dietitian 4 months before graduation at Withybush Hospital in beautiful Pembrokeshire. I’ve just finished my 3rd week as Dietitian and I love it, I have 5 different wards and no two days are the same. I start work at 8:30am but I tend to get there around 8:15am to get settled in and make a cup of tea. I then look through patient record cards and blood biochemistry of inpatients to be seen that day, this includes both reviews and new referrals. After thoroughly looking through patients and making notes, I head onto the wards. A new patient assessment can take up to 45 mins and a review can take 20-30 mins.
Food is something that is very personal, it’s important to ensure that patients are comfortable and that we provide a space that is safe. Multiple environmental factors impact dietary intake therefore I aim to cater each dietetic assessment to the individual’s needs. I’m incredibly passionate about this profession, it’s one I love, I wake up every morning looking forward to making a difference. I consider myself extremely blessed to be in the position I’m in, thank you Cardiff Metropolitan University.