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Phil - Trauma & Critical Care

Phil Johnston, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust

Growing up I was always interested in food and science. I had originally planned to become a chef and had started working in kitchens from 14. However, these were long hours for little appreciation and generally working with some difficult individuals which was not for me.

I had also experienced the impact that dietitians have in health through my sister being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. The combinations of life experience, food and science made dietetics an ideal career pathway

I completed a MSc degree in Nutrition & Dietetics in 2015 and which I worked in a variety of clinical specialities, first in a junior rotational role then a senior role. In 2019 I completed another MSc degree, this time in Critical Care and since 2021 I’ve been working in Critical Care & Trauma. This has involved building a new service and developing the dietetic workforce on the critical care unit.

I see a variety of different patient presentations and the opportunity to work alongside a really good multi-disciplinary team where you can see on a daily basis the impact of your care. A typical day for me involves reviewing and prioritising new referrals, attending handovers and ward rounds with other members of the multi-disciplinary team, reviewing patients on the critical care unit, and reviewing patients elsewhere in the hospital admitted following trauma.

Aside from this I also volunteer on the British Dietetic Association (BDA) Critical Care Specialist Group Committee as and Education Officer. This has been exciting opportunity that helps to guide how the future of critical care dietetics may look.

I think dietetics is at an exciting turning point with there being a greater push for more advanced practice dietetic roles. This is something I feel hugely passionate about - being able to action the plan devised to ensure the top level of patient centred care.

Phil Johnston