Eleanor Marsh, adult cystic fibrosis dietitian

Can you describe what you do day-to-day? Eleanor Marsh

I work in a wonderful team of cystic fibrosis (CF) dietitians and we provide the best possible care for our patients based on the latest research on how food can help patients with CF manage their symptoms. People living with CF have to deal with an array of different nutritional challenges due to the sticky mucus CF creates in the pancreas that interferes with the proper digestion of food. So we help patients meet their nutritional requirements, manage their pancreatic enzymes (proteins needed for digestion), help with tube feeding for those that need it (this involves nutrition in a liquid form being given to patients via a tube in the nose or stomach) and help manage any diabetes that develops as a result of their CF with diet plans or guides.

What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy the fact that I get to know patients from the moment they join the adult service, and can build long-term working relationships with them, and ultimately help patients  manage their CF symptoms as well as possible through nutrition.

Which part of your job is most challenging?

There have been some incredible developments in the CF world in the last few years with the advent of a new group of drugs called modulators. These target the underlying cause of CF, a defect in patients’ proteins that leads to the build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs and pancreas, and have led to some fantastic improvements in people’s health. I have enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with how our dietetic care has had to adapt.

What is the best/funniest thing a patient has ever said to you?

You build such long-term relationships that I’ve had too many ongoing jokes with patients to remember one in particular!

Why did you decide to work in healthcare?

I really liked the idea of working in a big cohesive team and getting to build lasting relationships with patients.