I was reflecting on dietetic life with an old chum last week and I recalled as a young and newly qualified dietitian how I had been left high and dry to deal with a baby newly diagnosed with PKU. I couldn’t find any information in the department as the paediatric dietitian had locked all the books, information and guidance away whilst she was on holiday over the Christmas period. It was also new years day so few people were available to assist. It was also pre Mr. Google so access to information was scant other than in books. It was necessary to contact a children’s specialist hospital to find out what to do. All was well in the end and the dietary advice provided was correct, thank goodness.
As dietitians we need to be prepared and happy to share our expertise for the good of our patients and the public at large. Nutrition and dietary advice is of no use if it isn’t disseminated. This is bad for our profession as well as providing an open door for less robust and sometimes unsafe advice to be hoist upon the waiting world.
There has been much activity recently with people questioning the role of dietitians in nutrition. Though I do not think we should get into a defensive position. No, what we should do it broadcast to the world what we do, how we do it, what we know and leave the petty criticisms to those who clearly envy our knowledge and skills.
Listen chums, don’t be like robins, who guard their territory with a savage ferocity. No, be serene like the swan and glide through the disparagement, showing by example that what we do as dietitians few, if any, other people can.