Roisin Gowan, RD
PEDIATRIC DIETITIAN & PRIVATE PRACTICE
for something nutrishus
Roisin is the first Irish dietitian in the series! It's great to get global perspectives, but also to see how similar we are. Her clients/patients face extreme nutritional challenges, but Roisin is loving the collaboration and learning that goes along with her position. Plus, I must agree with her, we dietitians are kind of awesome :)
Why did you become a RD?
I have a degree in Italian and History of Art, and was studying in Rome, when I became interested in food (and nutrition). When I returned to Ireland I looked into it further and started my degree in Nutrition and Dietetics the following year. An interesting pathway to my career choice :)
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I work in paediatrics, and specialize in neonates and eating disorders (two completely different and challenging areas!). I also see adults (originally worked in adult hospitals and GP clinics) in my private clinic.
How would you explain what you do?
Typically I would explain that I work in a hospital, and nutritionally manage very complex and sick infants and treat little boys and girls with eating disorders with specific nutritional care plans for weight restoration.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
Typical daily tasks are reviewing infants’ feeding regimens, ensuring they are meeting their estimated nutritional requirements for age, condition etc with breastmilk/formula, communicating any changes to feeding regimens with the formula room in the hospital, prescribing, monitoring PN with the neonate team, ordering feeding supplies for infants going home on enteral feeds, supporting Moms to breastfeed/express breastmilk.
Once a week I have a neonatal clinic I try to review patients at the surgical or neonatal/general med clinic.
I try to update my blog and social media for my private work at least once a week. I’m looking at different ways to engage, and I’ve done some great collaborative projects with people from this!
What has been your career path?
I worked in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK for a few years, before moving home to Ireland. I changed to paediatrics 5 years ago, and love it! I’m lucky to work in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital because it’s the biggest children’s hospital in the country and has so many speciality areas- I feel every day is a school day! I work with some amazing teams too :)
I started the private work on the side less than a year ago, because I wanted to supplement my income while being able to save for a house and live a life! I’ve now opened 2 clinics and continue to grow…
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I have a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Dietetics; afterwards I had to do Postgraduate in paediatrics because it’s specialized. I will be doing a masters in neonates later this year.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
Busy! Dietitian’s voices are becoming slowly more prominent on social media as the experts in nutrition, and on TV, I think that we’ll see us as a profession diversify, putting on more than one hat (e.g. dietetics with mindfulness; being able to prescribe as an advanced practioner etc).
What would you like people to know about RDs?
I think people would be surprised that RDs are more open minded than we are given credit for, especially as we have adapted a holistic approach in our practice. Science is always changing, so being able to interpret what is credible and not is a skill that we are trained to do.
What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?
We are trained to interpret and communicate evidence based science for the public. We cut through the bullshit and will never sell bad science with a product.
We are the only nutrition professional that work in hospitals but we also work in industries, TV, universities and schools. We’re kinda awesome :)
More about Roisin:
Facebook: Roisin Gowan Paediatric Dietitian