Making use of my dietetic knowledge to help others

Paula on a bridge over a river

By Paula McCusker, Specialist Hepatology Dietitian, Cambridge University Hospitals

I have been working at Addenbrookes Hospital for nearly 2 years. I studied an undergraduate degree in Dietetics in Northern Ireland before moving to Cambridge as a band 5 dietitian and eventually moving in to the role of a Hepatology and Liver Transplant Dietitian.

I have been lucky to have had previous opportunities to volunteer my time to help others. As a student, I visited a local primary school weekly to educate the children on nutrition and its importance. I really enjoyed this opportunity and it encouraged me to make use of my dietetic knowledge to help others.

When I first arrived at Addenbrookes Hospital and met the team, I was immediately interested in Rama Foundation and the amazing work of Artika, Claire, Helaina and Tanzil the years before. The positivity and enthusiasm of the previous groups about Rishikesh and the trip was infectious and made me interested in going. As this was the first trip organised since Covid, I was very keen to go and felt my 2 years of clinical practice gave me confidence in being able to be of use to the patients and people we meet.

I expect to experience a big culture shock and although I would like to believe I have done enough research about Rama Foundation, their work, Rishikesh and the centres we will be working in, I think I will have a lot of learning to do. I am sure this trip will shape me as a dietitian, person and my outlook on life going forward.