Lauren Kelly, nutrition lead and dietitian

Can you describe what you do day-to-day? Lauren Kelly

My work day is usually split between seeing patients that are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and working on various projects to make sure that nutrition is promoted within the hospital, and that all staff and patients have access to good nutritional care. This could include writing a policy on something like tube feeding (where food in a liquid form is delivered to a patient via a flexible tube inserted into the nose or stomach), running a teaching session with staff, working with catering on planning healthy menus or auditing how much food we are delivering to ICU.

What do you like most about your job?

I love seeing patients on ICU and working with the team there. When I tell people I’m a dietitian on ICU they often look confused and assume I am there to help people lose weight, but I’m actually trying to do the opposite. Most of the patients I see are being tube fed, and it’s my role to make sure they are fed the right nutrients for them to minimise the amount of weight they loose and to support their immune response.  

Which part of your job is most challenging?

Definitely dividing my time between my patient work and desk work!

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

The best thing is just being told thank you, and that you’ve helped them. Because that’s all I’m trying to do.

Why did you decide to work in healthcare?

I chose dietetics to study as I was interested in health and food. From the first time I went into a hospital as a student I knew it was where I wanted to work. It can be a stressful environment but it’s always interesting; my colleagues are great, I’m always learning new things and I know how important nutrition is in helping people recover.