Dietetics Digest Podcast

What it is like being a Paediatric Dietitian? feat Chloe Elliott RD (Episode 9)

September 13, 2021 Aaron Boysen
Dietetics Digest Podcast
What it is like being a Paediatric Dietitian? feat Chloe Elliott RD (Episode 9)
Show Notes Transcript

Monday 13th September 2021                 


Dietetics Digest            


What it is like being a Paediatric Dietitian? feat Chloe Elliott RD (Episode 9)

Chloe Elliott has spent her dietetic career specialising in paediatrics. She worked at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children before moving to London for a role in an international centre of excellence in child healthcare, Great Ormond Street Hospital. Chloe has expertise in the management of neurological conditions and rehabilitation in addition to gastroenterology, including food allergies.

Chloe Elliott (Twitter/ Instagram

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Chloe Elliot:

There's there's no love, like a parent's love for their child. So that does make it difficult but equally very rewarding because I think that parents are so unbelievably grateful for what you've done for their child, whether it's just put them on a milk free diet, and it means they're not constipated anymore. You know, like just the tiniest thing to you know, putting a child on parental nutrition lookaside gutters damaged from chemotherapy, you know, it's like different, different degrees of what you've done. But actually, at the end of it, you've generally got a very grateful parents that's like, oh, thank you so much for what you've done for my child, which is heartwarming.

Aaron Boysen:

Welcome to the dietetics digest podcast, a podcast that helps you understand more about the different areas of dietetics and nutrition and what others are doing within them. We do this by talking to inspiring and influential individuals that are advancing practice in some way, shape and form. Our mission is to create a resource that helps dietitians to build row and share ideas with each other to help advance their practice, and the practice of others. I am your host, Aaron Boysen. This episode is going to be a little bit different. It's our first episode on the topic of paediatrics now I didn't plan to do an episode on paediatrics when this guest first messaged me on instagram couldn't turn down the opportunity to have such an esteemed guest on the podcast. Now I originally knew about her from the work she does with Great Ormond Street Hospital and the educational electrician produced but overall she is one of the most enthusiastic and passionate paediatric dietitians out there. Now our guest on today's episode is Chloe Elliot Bowyer spent her entire dietetic career specialising in paediatrics. She has previously worked at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children before moving to London for her role. In an International Centre of Excellence you may have heard of called Great Ormond Street Hospital Chloe has expertise in the management of neurological conditions and rehabilitation. In addition to gastroenterology including food allergies, this episode is perfect for those that are kind of interested in paediatrics want to know what it's about and trust me if you're not interested in paediatrics, Chloe will change your mind. Thank you for joining me today on the podcast. I think when I first got your message about interest in the podcast it it sort of was perfect timing because I recently had some experiences with transition of care of patients and it made me really interested in this area. And I definitely as a as a student had an experience on say placement where I got my placement through. I realised my supervisor was a it said specialist paediatric. I remember exactly what it said but it's a specialist paediatric dietitian of some area and I said to my lecturer, shall I be all paediatric?

Chloe Elliot:

That was a good thing.

Aaron Boysen:

paediatric isn't you know, probably you'll get to see other areas too. It's just just your supervisor. But it wasn't it was all paediatrics, and I absolutely loved my first a placement. And then for my first four weeks of B placement, I was in paediatrics as well. So I never actually didn't nutritional assessment my adult until I reached think Week Five of placements so but clearly what first generated your interest in paediatrics? Did you? Did you always want to go into paediatrics or

Chloe Elliot:

I can't remember when I had the exact moment. But initially, when I was in school, I thought I would be a primary school teacher, like always thought I want to work with children and things. And obviously school holidays were an added bonus of being a teacher. And then I watched supersize versus super skinny as your day and I'll see a dietitian on there. And I've actually know that sounds really interesting. I'd quite like to get involved in that. So from then onwards, I thought I would just work with adult wasn't really quite sure how the whole paediatric element would be involved with it. And then when I went to do my placement too, which is awesome. The 12 week one the first six weeks at Bristol Children's Hospital. And as a bit like you I was a bit like, oh, like I'm doing like that's quite intense. That's quite specialist, many of the placement students and then on I think my first morning on the ward, we were on the renal unit. And then someone was talking about a like a three month old baby that needed a kidney transplant. And I actually ended up fainting on the floor. And then I was like, I don't think I want to do paediatrics. I can't like remain conscious during all these difficult discussions. And but no after that. After the six weeks, I was like I actually love paediatrics. It's so rewarding. You feel so important. Even when I was a student, I felt so important and really valued by everyone. And then obviously I went to the Royal Infirmary, which is kind of the adult version at Bristol. And I did that for six weeks. And although Don't get me wrong, I did. I did enjoy that as well. Even though I'd only done the first six weeks in paediatrics. I felt like I'd actually grown so many skills from that I think people worry what if I do all my training in paediatrics, I won't be able to apply it to adults. When actually I felt like I had i'd picked up all the basic skills of kind of assessing and inpatient whether it was paediatrics or add those and it was all very transferable. But for me being at Bristol for the six weeks, I was like, No, I definitely want to go into paediatrics at some point or kind of the earliest opportunity but I think when you're at uni, you're always kind of taught Okay, so you do a band five job in adults and then you do that for a couple of years. And then You go to get your band six door, whether that's in paediatrics, or, you know, some sort of specialist area in adults. So I thought I would have to do that kind of my stint in adult as it were. And then I yeah, just as I was writing my dissertation, I had a couple of weeks left, before I had to hand in. And that was like, the final bit of my degree, really a band by a paediatric job came up, it's kind of like a band of five or six, you know, you could it was a progression paced sort of thing. And it said, you know, not suitable for nearly qualified dietitian. So I was a bit like, you know, I've got so much other stuff going on, can I really go through the application process and potentially an interview? And my tutor was like, No, you can and you should. So I ended up applying for it and actually got it, which was just crazy. And it kind of all started from there. Really, you know, I am where I am today, because I went to that fanfight paediatric post. And I did that for a year in a hill district General Hospital in Somerset. So really small team, you know, quite busy. But they gave me all the time that I needed to learn really, and kind of progressed. And then yeah, went on to restore terms hospitals for just over a year. And then I've been that got for almost the last four years. So I've been qualified six years, which is crazy. Got me. That's all happened in the past six years. I've just been paediatrics. And I've just loved it. It's been so fantastic. I've been really lucky actually. So taking that initial jump into an area where us almond and are in about whether you actually qualify for this role. Whether you whether you should take this role, actually, sort of you'd say launched your career into paediatrics. Yeah, absolutely. I think when you it's, it's all crazy. Because, you know, when you're in pediat, when you want to go into paediatrics, you have to start somewhere. So, you know, when you have your first paediatric job, you would have come from adults or come from being a student. And you literally are starting from ground zero, you know, you've literally got no knowledge in and apart from what you potentially might have learned on placement or what you potentially might have been learning University. So I remember being now on like, my first day in that band, five jobs just thinking like, I have literally no idea what I'm doing. And that's so scary. That's so scary to put yourself in a position where you just think I have no idea what I'm doing. But yeah, no, they were, as I said, the team was so lovely. They were like, you know, I'm one of those people that to learn, I just want to crack on and do it. And then I'll ask if kind of I need some help and support or whatever. So they completely were like, you know, we'll let you learn how you learn best sort of thing. So they were just super supportive. And I think when you are you know, I would say to anyone who wants to go for a job in paediatrics regardless how unqualified they think they are, just absolutely go for it. Because you've, you've got nothing to lose. You know, even in the application writing process and the potential interview process, you'll still gained so much from that and the feedback you get from it is so important. So I am very much like don't shy away from any of those sorts of opportunities. Because you think you're under qualified because you just never know

Aaron Boysen:

when people say paediatrics is really specialist. Is it? You've obviously mentioned about how that shouldn't put anyone off it should make people want to go for the roles and as long as there's a support structure in place and the team support that they can grow and enhance their skills well enough. Is it? Is it more specialists than adults? Would you say?

Chloe Elliot:

I think I mean, there's a lot of crossover. Like, if you have a child that's faltering growth, and they need to put on weight. It's the exact same as if you had like a carer, the elderly patient that also needs to put on weight, they need to eat more, and you need to so it's like food fortification advice. Potential supplements are like every supplement they have in adults, they probably have a paediatric version for it. So that is that is the same, you know, it doesn't matter whether you need to put on weight and eat more as an adult or a child it you know, those principles remain the same. And in adults, you see things like, you know, milk free diets, or lactose free diets and gluten free diets equally in paediatrics, if you have a child that needs to avoid milk, the advice remains the same as if you were seeing an adult that needs to avoid dairy sort of things. So there is there is a lot of crossover, obviously you have more, you know, in terms of like infant formulas, those sort of specialist infant formulas, you know, that's something completely new and unique to paediatrics that you don't have in the adult world. But you learn those things, you know, you pick them up on the job, you know, every patient you see you get better assuming that milk allergy you do better that that weaning advice sort of thing. So, you know, like, if you want to learn, and you have that motivation to do it, like you'll get there, like you'll get there by just doing it to basically as opposed to you know, reading all those books about it and going on all those webinars or whatever, like you learn the most by actually just cracking on and going for it.

Aaron Boysen:

Yeah, I mean, the principles are the same but some of the some of the tools you might use a slightly different so you might estimate requirements slightly differently. And obviously, the you might not just look at weight trends, you might look at a growth trend or growth on a growth chart and it's just a slightly different way of framing it but I'll tell you what, I was scared going from paediatrics to adults on placement. I thought oh, now My supervisors gonna think I'm useless. I can't do anything with adults. I don't know when the last time I use the Henry equation was I don't know how to.

Chloe Elliot:

Yeah, I mean, maybe pens. I don't know where my pen dreads. I assume I still got it. I don't remember actively throwing it away, but I certainly have a list of my pens in a very long time.

Aaron Boysen:

Yeah, so it's got a few. I think that the principles are the same, but the tools might be slightly different. So when it comes to newly qualified dieticians or even dietetic students, what, where do you think they start off with this? Do they just go through the course there's anything they can do to sort of maybe get a head start? If if there's more because I have seen more sort of band five roles in paediatrics and early starting roles in paediatrics, so

Chloe Elliot:

absolutely anything they

Aaron Boysen:

can do to? How would you suggest they started off? Or you could describe it as getting a leg up on the competition? But sort of how would you just they start off their interest and develop their knowledge in this area?

Chloe Elliot:

I think if you think that you're interested in paediatrics, I think it's a little bit difficult in COVID times like I think shadowing a dietician for a morning or a day or an afternoon or whatever has a lot of value. Because I do think you can take from that you can either go there and be like, that was absolutely awful. Staring at sick children all day is absolutely not for me that at least you know, at least not at that time in your career where you're ready to kind of investigate the paediatric side of things. But I think shadowing or even just speaking to a dietitian, but one of the reasons that I messaged you to do about this podcast, because for me doing all the student studies and things, I get a lot of emails from students to say, Can I just can I just have like 10 minutes of your time to ask you a few questions and like, pretty much like the ones you were asking me like, like, what can I do? How did you get into it? What do you suggest I do sort of thing. So just like having a conversation with someone, just to kind of ask questions about it, I think is really valuable, I think, if you will, on placement and didn't necessarily have that much paediatrics as part of your timetable, just highlighting it to your supervisor. Oh, by the way, I find it really interesting to go to like the neonatal unit for the morning, if that will possible, you know, because I do think as you know, someone that has students, it's nice to hear what they're interested in. And it's nice to be able to give them that as opposed to, you know, making a timetable for them that you think they'll get a lot out of, but actually hearing from them, what they'd like to get out of it is really valuable. And I think you know, if you're at that point, you know, I started doing students study days into paediatrics. I think it was in 2019. Because Yeah, definitely pre pandemics. We were all in a room together with no socially distance or mass. So that was definitely pre 2020. And then yes, it did once a student then did one for qualified dieticians, because people started asking me to do it. But then and then we move virtual. And then from the feedback that I get from people that come to those study days is I really wasn't sure about paediatrics. But you know, you and your team have made it sound so interesting. I'd really like to explore it a little bit further. And equally, I haven't necessarily seen this on a feedback form. But I'm sure some people probably think I was interested in it, but I'm probably not now from from what you've said about it. So I think that that might be a way of a little bit of an eye opener because I tried to make the programme as as general as possible. Like this is what you can see this is the basics. He's the little specialist areas, although to fit it all into kind of a seven hour days so difficult to because there's so much I could spend probably three weeks doing a study about it, but trying to kind of pick those like key elements so people can work out for themselves. Is it something they're going to be interested in? Or is it something that not? And then No, I agree like the amount of like band five slash band six paediatric jobs that I see are ever increasing. And I think that's because people people generally struggle to recruit into paediatrics I there is a national shortage of paediatric dieticians. So I'd like to think that I'm trying to do my best to kind of refresh the workforce and kind of get people more interested into paediatric, but I would say if you have you know, if you see a band five job, you know that you're kind of interested in going into it, then absolutely apply and hope that you're experiencing in shadowing or going to study days or you know, or things like that are all going to work in your favour for those points, obviously, paediatrics.

Aaron Boysen:

We've talked about some of the similarities, but what are some of the differences between paediatrics and maybe areas you would see in paediatrics, or commonly, that you might not see in sort of, maybe, with adult patients or?

Chloe Elliot:

Yeah, I think I mean, the main one being neonatal, you obviously wouldn't see that in any of the adult world. But I also, could you

Aaron Boysen:

describe what neonatal actually is, because I don't have a lot of them.

Chloe Elliot:

Okay, so neonatal I by that I mean, neonatal intensive care unit. So the babies that are born either incredibly preterm or are born with something or some sort of condition. That means that they are very sick from birth and need support and treatment to be able to, to get them to ward level and then home. So it's more kind of those things like I used to work in surgery, so you'd get things like diaphragmatic hernias or gastroschisis or when they got his baby typically there's a hole in their abdominal wall. So they got end up ends up developing outside of their body in the womb that they they'll be born. So they'll probably initially have to have surgery to try and pop everything back in again, which can be a timely process. So that was kind of more what what I describe in the neonatal term. So see, that's something you've never seen in the adult world. And what makes paediatrics, so incredibly different to adults, regardless of the speciality is you have to deal with parents. So although you're dealing with that sick child and infant, your actual main source of wealth, you're probably your main source of information and discussion and difficult conversations with the parents, the ones that aren't even safe are probably fit and work, but are so emotionally like driven, you know, is is difficult, like it's incredibly difficult, and they can be angry, they can be sad, probably not even that you it just the whole situation that you're in there, and you're kind of dealing with it. And that's difficult. And I think that even now, I think now six years down the line, I can I think I'm quite good at coping with the angry parents and all of these situations, and but they're still difficult and they take experience, that's not something you can learn in a book, it takes you, you know, being yelled at by parents a million times to finally know what to do and how to kind of cope with it really, and I'm sure in the adult world, you know, you get carers and, and all that sort of thing as part of it. But there's, you know, like, there's, there's no love, like a parent's love for their child, you know, so that does make it difficult, but equally, very rewarding, because I think that parents are so unbelievably grateful for what you've done for their child, whether it's just put them on a milk free diet, and it means they're not constipated anymore. You know, like just the tiniest thing to you know, putting a child on parental nutrition lookaside gutters damaged from chemotherapy, you know, it's like different, different degrees of what you've done. But actually, at the end of it, you've generally got a very grateful parents that's like, oh, thank you so much for what you've done for my child, which is, you know, heartwarming.

Aaron Boysen:

I mean, my own experiences on placement. I didn't experience any sort of angry or frustrated parents, understandably, as they as they would be going through a lot of those periods. But maybe my supervisor chose certain parents for me.

Chloe Elliot:

When you've got a student, you have to go to the nicest families.

Aaron Boysen:

Yeah. And I mean, obviously, there's, there's families that are nice, but under those sorts of circumstances, understandably, they would be quite frustrated and angry. But yeah, I mean, there's definitely an even I've seen send it with parents on placement as a student, there's definitely an advocacy for nutrition from the parents, which sort of brings nutrition to the forefront because they're thinking about it. And they want to know how they're going to get their child fed, what's going to happen with their

Chloe Elliot:

nutrition. And I think it's a part that they think that they couldn't control and being involved in, you know, like, with everything else that can be going on with a child medically, that that parent might only be able to feed their child like, so they want to be involved with it as much as possible. So for the children that are, you know, like, like losing weight, or whatever, at the same time as having chemotherapy, like, they can't change the chemotherapy, like they can't change that element of it. But when it comes to feeding them, they want to try and like, try doing this or try doing that. And you know, it can be so anxiety provoking, particularly for the patients that I see undergoing transplant, they'll be with us for two months minimum, and that's if they've done well, you know, they could be with us for six months, eight months, etc. And all these parents have is time, you know, time to sit in that room, children aren't allowed to leave that room, parents can leave it if they want to, but they generally want to be with their child the whole time. This is all they have to think about. It's all they have to think about that they only drank 100 mils of water that morning, you know, like, so it's, it can be really anxiety provoking for them, and it's really challenging, but equally, you know, you become their best friend. It's just like, going into saving. I think there are some patients over the past year that I think I've seen more than my friends and family because I just have to go and talk to them every single day.

Aaron Boysen:

So I mean, that sounds like the paediatric dieticians are really a valued member of the MDT. And I think that's a lot due to the importance the parents put on nutrition for the children. Yeah, I can also imagine due to the importance put on nutrition, that that also creates a lot more stress within the role of a paediatric dietitian. Due to the parental anxiety.

Chloe Elliot:

Yeah, no, we have Ward rounds twice a week, sit down, and it's like, if I'm not there, or the dietitians not there, you know, like, you'll be handed until you go there because you're so key, you know, to the parents, but also like the doctors and nurses like they want your opinion they want they want you to be involved because they just value like our input so much, which is so lovely. You know, I love being handed down.

Aaron Boysen:

So any dietitian that sort of out there and maybe says they don't feel appreciated enough or they want they feel like they're sometimes overlooked.

Chloe Elliot:

Come on work with me.

Aaron Boysen:

Well, there might be an area where you could possibly explore this area and Maybe shadow a paediatric dietitian to really experience that unique area. So neonates isn't a unique area is any other unique areas to paediatrics?

Chloe Elliot:

I mean, I guess like, for example, if you look at cardiac, obviously, in adults, some of what you see might be healthy eating related advice. Like so people like post heart attack and that sort of thing, or maybe have heart disease as kind of a consequence of their own lifestyle sort of thing. So that's probably quite adult specific but in in paediatrics, you will forget the infants that are born with congenital heart disease and things like that. So although the specialties are the same, you know, in adults in paediatrics, you have people that their hearts don't work properly, the the consequence of it and kind of the cause, you know, how it's come about is very different sort of thing. I think I've never actually done metabolics but obviously, you get the, the children that are born with PKU and trying to think of any other metabolic dietitian off the top of my head, maple syrup, urine disorder, something along those lines, and all of those. Yeah, there we go. There we go. Obviously, they're all diagnosed in kind of the newborn screening sort of thing. So the dieticians as part of that are working with the families who have literally had this life changing diagnosis for their child. Not only that, it's so dietetic heavy, you know, low protein diets and those sort of things as a real key part of the medical management of it, although you can see the you know, the adult with these conditions is very different, like your involvement as part of that isn't quite the initial stages where they were just diagnosed very emotive parents, obviously distraught that their child has this diagnosis that they've never probably never heard of before. There's something there's anything else I think, I mean, generally, the specialties are the same apart from honestly, there's no geriatrics and there's neonatal. Instead, everything remains the same. It's just as I said, the consequence of how they've got that condition is probably different.

Aaron Boysen:

Yeah, I never thought about that the way the patient got the disease is very different. And that probably does play into the way they respond to medical care how you support them as an MDT. And I think this comes back to what we discussed previously, similar principles, but different tools are used. Could you tell us more about the differences in renal dietetics, respiratory dietetics paediatric intensive care? Maybe we could start with renal.

Chloe Elliot:

So I guess with Rena, as you know, everything that you see in renal is probably something that that child has been born with, like congenital nephrotic syndrome and things like that. And what what is, I guess challenging and all speciality of paediatrics, where there's something really severe has happened either congenital nephrotic syndrome or heart disease, not only do you have to manage that, from a nutrition point of view, you've actually got to get them to grow as well. So if they've got really awful vomiting, or work of breathing, or any of these things, you've got to manage all those symptoms. But you've also got to make sure they've had enough nutrition that they're actually going to grow as well and develop because it's so important, you know, as first three years of life to make sure that that child has everything they need, but actually if they're on a ventilator, really fluid restricted, that is that is such a barrier to those things moving forward. But equally if you've got a ventilated, paediatric patient and events, they did have a patient You know, they're still going to have much lower requirements because they're not breeding for themselves and things like that. So yeah, there are there are similarities between the specialties, but growth is so is so important, you know, an adult if they've not gained weight for a year, that's probably a good thing to be honest, but in paediatrics is so key that you know, it will affect them for the rest of the life if you don't get the nutrition, right. So yeah, no pressure for us.

Aaron Boysen:

Of course, no pressure, no pressure at all. It's very stress free roll, I imagine. But I think our discussion so far has done a really good job at describing the rewarding and challenging job of being a paediatric dietitian. And I know you do a lot of these open evenings and educational events for student dieticians and newly qualified dieticians about how to get into paediatrics. What are some of the most common questions they ask you at these events?

Chloe Elliot:

I think I mean, one thing that I hear a lot from, I mean, I don't even necessarily suit dieticians but just general people in life is that when when they hear that I work at Great Ormond Street or that on paediatric dietitian, and they always say and this is students as well. Oh, I couldn't see sick kids every day. And I couldn't do it'd be too sad. I really loved children. I couldn't see them like that every day. But I think when I really love children, and I really love working with them, hence why I'm doing it and you could not work in paediatrics. If you dislike children, I think you'd be pretty bad at your job essentially. But I don't think I don't necessarily see them. I mean, one when you walk around the ward, you're not necessarily looking at a child on spec and from death each time. I mean, and also, although you could argue that if a child's in hospital, they are sick, they are probably sick to a different degree as opposed to you know They're not all just about to die, you know, some of them might just be there for a leg operation or whatever. And I think I don't know, I just I just don't see it, the sad side of it, how other people might see it. And I think it's, I think the reward from the job and working with the children and families and doing your bit to improve their quality of life totally outweighs the fact that you might have days where you actually feel a bit sad because someone's died, which you do have, you know, children, unfortunately, will die in this kind of role of care. But I just find it rewarding. I wouldn't want someone to think, Oh, I'm not getting into paediatrics. I'm going to be dying kids every day. So it's not like that at all. And also, if you wanted to do paediatrics, that you weren't sure about the acute setting, there are obviously community paediatric jobs where they may need to see children in like a clinic setting, they might have faltering growth or allergy or something like that. So it might be that if you're if you find the acute setting a little bit too overwhelming and a little bit of motive, but you wanted in paediatrics, you could do something like that, where you work in the community with you know, well looking children as it were.

Aaron Boysen:

Yeah, I mean, I definitely on on placement, my supervisor, experienced one of those moments where it was, it was very emotive for the parent, because the child had, possibly, I can't remember the exact details. And it's probably good that I can't, but the child wasn't doing great. And the parent was very emotional. And the dietician right at the time, not cried like a sort of wailing cry, but there was tears sort of falling down her face, it's, I think it's um, but the way the dietician sort of explained it to me in say, when we were reviewing it and things like that, because some people may say, Ah, is that really professional to cry and that kind of thing. And she said, I wouldn't normally it just the situation and we've all got emotions, but the way she said she understands it was Yes, is very sick to see what that is very saddening to see what these children go through, but that that sort of drives her and motivates her more and helps her to cope with a lot of the tricky situations and pushes her a little bit further. And I do actually think most people in the healthcare field, whether they be doctors, nurses, therapists, dieticians, are driven by a lot of that, because no one likes to see patients pass away, or patients who are really, really ill, whether they be a child, or whether they be a 3040 year old, 60 year old, 70 year old adult, however, I think we are all driven by that sort of push to really help them. Yeah, exactly. do better.

Chloe Elliot:

No, absolutely. And I think that, you know, the patients that I see that parents have been there for, you know, three, maybe four months, particularly during COVID, they've not seen their partner, you know, their child's certainly not seeing their dad, they've not seen any siblings, they might not have seen their other children. And they all they are very emotional. And I probably have a parent cry to me at least once a week. And you do have moments where you leave and you're like, oh, my goodness, that was really overwhelming. But to have given that parent the space to cry to you for 15 minutes, but just for them to have like, let it out, it's actually quite a privilege that they felt that they were able to be like, I'm just having a really bad time. And I want to tell you about it. Especially I'm not one to stand there and cry with them. But it is quite, you know, it's a privilege that they're able to open up to you. And it's nice that they have that space to, to let that out. You know, I'd much rather the client for 15 minutes as opposed to said guess everything fine. And then I left the room and then they were just feeling really overwhelmed by themselves. So but yeah, admittedly, we've all had patients die. And we've gone to the corridor room for just a little moment to us. As we all would ask humans, because you know, we're not total robots that are

Aaron Boysen:

often overlooked piece that we aren't total robots. Our only purpose is not to conduct nutritional assessments and provide nutritional care plans, but we do feel for our patients. And I would just, as a side note, encourage anyone who's experienced anything over the past year that they reach out and seek help from someone when needed. So Chloe, are there any myths that come up on these courses or things that are going around the rumour mill that people think are needed, but maybe aren't?

Chloe Elliot:

I was just gonna say about. Generally students think you need to do the paediatric masters at Plymouth before you get into paediatrics, and I. I didn't do obviously I went to paediatrics as soon as I qualified for my undergraduate degree. And I know some people do go on to do and the paediatric masters whether full time or do it part time alongside their current role. But I think people feel that pressure of I won't go into paediatrics because I don't want to have to do the masters and it might be too stressful. It might be too much for me. And so I would say that you know that's not true. You don't have to do the Masters to be able to go on to do further. Obviously if you've got that kind of motivation and passion for research and that's kind of your thing then then absolutely. But I think that no one should feel that pressure. You know, like we just spent a year not being able to see any of our friends and family and doing a Masters is intense. You do lose a lot of your free time to doing to doing this Buddy, I think no one should feel pressured to give up time with their friends and family where we've literally not been able to do for a whole year.

Aaron Boysen:

Is there anything that they you would suggest to students or dieticians, if they're interested in paediatrics that they should do before going for a job interview? Or it looked good on when you're reviewing the job application where you go, Oh, that's a really good thing for that. For people to have.

Chloe Elliot:

Yeah, I think it's, um, I think having just done some, some band six interviews, I think that you should go on a course to further your knowledge and help you answer the interview questions better, as opposed to for it to look good on your application, because I think that you could say that you've attended x, y and Zed, but actually, if you've not taken anything from it, then that is sort of worthless from from my point of view. That being said, I do have seen it do Saturdays for people so that they'd get the opportunity to experience it. There's dieticians network, which is a fantastic CPD network, as it were, that do fantastic courses. And we've just gotten that isn't that work? I've just done this collaboration, where we're doing this four week course, with having two topics every week being released with live q&a is and it's basically aimed at people that are maybe adult dietitian, maybe students maybe just got into paediatrics. It's just kind of learn more about specialist areas. So there's talks on enter on parental nutrition, renal, respiratory, cardiac, ICU, neonatal analogy, like it's like the, I mean, obviously, there are more and you can include for the 20 talks in paediatrics, but I was just trying to condense it down to ones I think I thought would be really valuable for people. So you know, that could be something that someone might want to do if they're just really interested and have such a thirst for knowledge of paediatrics that they can obviously get involved and sign up to that. And I'm hoping that in end of July time, I'll do some sort of other study day. At some point, I'll see that we're all virtual. I mean, the one benefit of COVID is that you can do these things. It's kind of opened up the platform for virtual learning now, which we just didn't have before. But it's funny to see you think why didn't we have that? Why did we not go on zoom before but it seems that COVID has made us do that, which is a good thing. I think it

Aaron Boysen:

definitely increases accessibility for those students or newly qualified dieticians and a dietitian working in adults, it makes it easier for them to say attended, because obviously if you're working at adults, there's no cut imagine you'd get funded to do a paediatric course on less threat, the ability to go on zoom and have more of the net other platforms are available and are used quite often to have one of those educational sessions on sort of a digital platform allows to increase accessibility and often it lowers the price of that tickets and makes it more accessible to other people and they can pay for out their own funds and they can actually learn something that wouldn't be helpful in their in their daily job role. But what actually sort of satisfy that thirst for paediatric CPD?

Chloe Elliot:

Yeah, and no like, you know, train tickets to London. They like extortionate prices like that, you know, who will who will ever get like that sort of funding for travel? I don't know ever again.

Aaron Boysen:

No, definitely not. So you said so on a job application. You're not looking for like a list of study days or a list of courses they've done? You're really looking for their knowledge in their their sort of interest and passion for paediatric dietetics. Is there any sorts of areas where you think students should focus their attention on would you suggest to go and read all about metabolics and tyrosinemia? And

Chloe Elliot:

I probably wouldn't recommend. I just feel a little intense for that. I think, you know, if I've done courses, put it on their application, because we're, you know, every person that does shortlisting for jobs will have different views on it, but you know, absolutely write it down. But I think it's good that when you're writing actual supporting information, you're saying how, why that's benefited you? You know, I went on this course. And I've learned about this and the other and I've applied it by doing this, that and the other shattering of my trust, you know, that sort of thing

Aaron Boysen:

about what areas they should maybe brush up on been because obviously, before an interview, any interview that I've taped, you do a reading, reading around the topic, almost preparation for that interview. So is there any areas that you would suggest for paediatric interviews?

Chloe Elliot:

Yeah, so I guess, depending on what sort of job you're going for, like if you're going for a specialist metabolic job, I would look up some metabolic conditions. But I think if you're just going for like a general paediatric dietetic post, whether that's like a six rotational post at a tertiary centre, or you know, advancing a district General, you have to know the basics of cow's milk, protein allergy, faltering growth, maybe a little bit about weight management, you know, those key topics, which shows that you are that you have a good grounding in paediatrics, because if you're a paediatric dietitian that only knows about metabolic and paediatrics. That's fantastic. But if you ever needed to recover another area, you probably wouldn't be that good at it. Because you've never learned anything outside of metabolic so I would say I would recommend everyone just gets a good grounding and paediatric before they go to a specialist job and read up on the basics of paediatrics as I said, No ecology and things and then there's always the classic It's like, you know, what's your experience in order one about like how you've dealt with conflict and the MDT one about trust values and why you meets the trust values sort of thing are the are the absolute basics? But yeah, if you were going for a specialist job in in neonates or something like that, you would definitely need to read up on that area because they aren't going to ask you a question about it.

Aaron Boysen:

And would you say that any experience of having adults as you're asking those questions and experience in adults would still be applicable in paediatrics? Absolutely. Yeah.

Chloe Elliot:

I mean, obviously, when it comes to, you know, MDT working, and all those, all those key skills of being a dietitian, as opposed to just being a paediatric dietitian, are really important. So if you worked in adults, and had done an audit, because you you saw that there was this problem, and you've investigated it, and this is what the result was, then you've done this, that and the other and this is what you're going to do moving forward. That is so valuable, and that earns you real interview point. So it doesn't matter that you did in adults and as a paediatric job, it's having that initiative to have seen this and followed it through. That is really important. You know, it doesn't always have to just be about paediatrics because those basic dietetic skills are just as valuable.

Aaron Boysen:

Definitely translatable as well. Think about the first interview we ever we ever had, say as dietitians, we might have used experiences from placement experiences from university, but also use experience outside of placement outside of University of where we've used a lot of these skills, when they would be directly applicable to the job role of the dietitian.

Chloe Elliot:

Yeah, so even if you don't, you've never worked in paediatric, you've just been an avid dietitian, but actually, you've done something outside of your, you know, some voluntary work with some children, you know, outside of the acute setting, or you know, that all very much builds a picture of Okay, they have good communication skills with children, even if it's not from being a paediatric dietitian, yet, you know, like us all of the skills you can think of, and all of your experiences to translate about why that is the perfect skill to be a paediatric dietitian.

Aaron Boysen:

I think that's really useful advice for people going for interviews. And I'm sure that a lot of people listening to this might be considering it. That's fantastic. And all the resources discussed in this podcast will be available in the show notes.

Chloe Elliot:

Thank you for having me. It's been lovely.

Aaron Boysen:

Thank you so much for your time, I think it will be invaluable. I know I found it quite informative for myself. And all the information will be in the show notes as well as links to the various different educational sessions that clemmy mentioned. Thank you for listening.

Chloe Elliot:

Thank you very much.

Aaron Boysen:

Thanks for joining me this week on dietetics digest, make sure to visit my website a dietetics digest comm where you can listen to the podcast, or why not consider subscribing on Apple podcasts Stitcher, smart radio, Spotify, or basically just ask Alexa, and you'll never miss a show. And while you're at it, if you found this show valuable, you could do one of two things. Firstly, you could leave a review on the podcast that you're listening to the Apple podcast or Stitcher smart radio. And as you can tell a friend about the podcast. That'll be really helpful to help grow the podcast more. Thank you so much for the support and have a lovely week day wherever you are.