Sharing our experiences & meeting each other, even if it's from a distance

Pictures of Luisa Piccari, Artika Datta, Nicole Baptiste, Dr Anshika Arora, Brenda Ward

Sharing our experiences & meeting each other, even if it's from a distance

By Luisa Piccari, Nutrition Nurse Specialist Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

21 August 2021

I decided to sign up for this session after hearing stories from my colleagues about their experiences in India over the past years; as someone who never had the chance to travel much, everything sounded so interesting and new to my ears, so I didn't think twice before I gave my availability for the next event.
One could argue that, because of the Pandemic, it wouldn’t have felt the same as before, but I was surprised to find out how resilient professionals can be in times of crisis. Covid19 might have changed our lives in many ways, but it hasn't stopped us from sharing our experiences and meeting each other, even if it's just from a distance.

I would like to thank every single person who took time off their busy schedules to join the session and especially the people who allowed me to participate in this extraordinary exchange. I felt honoured and privileged to be speaking in front of so many professionals and to be asked questions and advice, and I will always be grateful to my colleague Nicole for her precious support at such short notice.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the session, especially when I saw many people joining the waiting room; it was my first time as a speaker on an online event and I was so afraid of not being clear enough or rushing things. I soon realised that this session was meant to be a discussion with other professionals rather than a monologue on Enteral Devices and immediately felt more comfortable.

I particularly enjoyed hearing stories from the teams in India about how challenging maintaining good nutrition can be in the community, especially for cancer patients. It was interesting to discuss best options to unblock tubes and how to reduce the risk of blocking them when enteral feeding mixtures are not available, and the only alternative is to give blended food through the tubes.

Nutrition is constantly underestimated, but it gives and sustains life. Something as simple as eating and drinking can be a true challenge in someone else’s everyday life and can’t be taken for granted; this is why looking after people with feeding devices can make you see things from another perspective. I have personally observed how nutrition can change the outcome of treatment and make a difference in the future of a patient.

I am in awe of every professional that is striving to provide care in any type of environment and continues to improve patients’ quality of life with limited resources.
I will be looking forward to future events – and hopefully we can all leave behind headphones, frozen screens and bad internet connections soon!