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Two dietitians, two orthoptists and a microbiologist are asked “what do you love about your job?” Here are their responses…….

Dietetics, Inspirational, Optometry, The Health Industry

Sally Marchini, APD at Marchini Nutrition said:

“I really do love my job as an Accredited Practising Dietitian. I love people, so being able to help people to improve their well-being, their quality of life and their understanding of their health concerns really does make me happy. I love being able to use my university trained knowledge to teach them what’s going on for them, knowing that I’m giving them the best possible, evidence-based, personalised advice to improve their health outcomes.

I also love that I run my own business and am in control of what goes on in it. I can plan to take days off when I want/need to, I don’t have to answer to anyone, I don’t have to rely on anyone, and I can try new ideas and shape it the way that I want it to be for the best possible outcomes for my clients.”

Sally Marchini is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 40 years ago and then coeliac disease 13 years ago. It was that second chronic disease diagnosis that inspired her to go to university to become a dietitian, both to benefit her own health and lead by example to help others to enjoy life/food when dealt a condition related to food intake. Sally sees clients from all over Australia via Skype for all types of diabetes, coeliac disease and food intolerances.

Josh Reed, founder of Reed Nutrition said:

“I get to research, interpret, write and communicate evidence based nutrition science into easily understood information. I get to motivate, improve the health of and empower people. I also get to learn how to improve my own health. Who wouldn’t want a career that teaches you how to live better everyday.”

Josh Reed, the founder of Reed Nutrition and Reed Fit, is a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics with Distinction graduate from the University of Newcastle. He also holds a Certificate III and IV in Fitness from the Fitness Institute of Australia.

Dr Petra Derrington, Ambassador for Pathology Awareness Australia said:

Dr Petra Derrington“As a microbiologist, I deal with the results of patients from every speciality so I can get calls from paediatrics to orthopaedics and everything in between. When the phone rings, it can be anything at all coming in from any area and I find that challenging. I never stop learning and bacteria and viruses are always changing and doing new and interesting things to keep me on my toes. The more I learn, the more fascinated I become. This speciality is moving ahead so very quickly in all areas of diagnostics, and keeping ahead of this is very challenging.

As Executive Director of Pathology Queensland, I have responsibility to ensure that our laboratory is functioning in the most efficient way, that we have happy and healthy staff who feel supported, empowered and vital, and that our clients get the best service. It is such an honour to have this job.”

Jane Schuller, Victoria President of Orthoptics Australia said:

“I was drawn to a career in orthoptics after I spent a day as a high school student at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. I couldn’t fathom how an organ so small could have so many subspecialties and almost an entire hospital devoted to its care. I was totally captivated by all the science and technology and that was the moment my future career became clear.

Being an orthoptist has allowed me to pursue a diverse number of roles, greater flexibility in work life balance and an abundance of new challenges. It has enabled me to work in private ophthalmology clinics, be involved in research and clinical trials, work in large teaching hospitals and change specialities throughout my career. Orthoptics is unique in that it has allowed me to continue working overseas and experience eye care from a different perspective. Working abroad has taught me about other healthcare systems and how to respect cultural differences whilst building on a strong foundation already established in Australia.

I love my career as an orthoptist because every day I use my technical skills to help diagnose and treat patients with eye diseases. In my job I’ve learnt other valuable skills such as how to listen and to have empathy so I can strive to be better at what I do.”

Jane graduated from LaTrobe University with a Diploma of Applied Science in Orthoptics and later completed a Masters of Public Health in Statistics and Epidemiology at Melbourne University in 2001. After several years working abroad in Singapore, Bangkok and the USA, she completed her American Orthoptic Certification in 2008 before returning to Australia in 2014. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings and is currently the Victorian President of Orthoptics Australia. She continues to work in the Ocular Motility Clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Bayside Eye Specialists and is the founder of EyeBytes.

Orthoptist Natalie Ainscough said:

“I have always been a talkative person, from age 4 I was called “Chatty Natty” by my reception teacher. So it seemed that a job role that involved communication was always in the stars for me. Orthoptics wasn’t a career I thought about until around age 16, when I was reminded of the intensive eye treatment I underwent as a child. Once I looked into the career more, I realised it was made for me and that was my heart set on becoming an orthoptist.

Almost 10 years into working as an orthoptist, I have the privilege of working in a fantastic team of ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists, nurses and administrators at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide. My patients are all 18 and under, and I spend much of my day running orthoptic clinics assessing vision and eye position, working alongside medical staff in their clinics, imaging various parts of the eye, creating treatment plans for amblyopia (lazy vision) and coordinating the highest quality care for our eye patients.

My job has allowed me to move from the UK to Australia, and share my skills there, as well as gaining a range of skills working with students, helping coordinate the retinoblastoma service (childhood eye cancer) as well as being one of the South Australian representatives on the Orthoptics Australia council advocating for our fantastic profession.”

Natalie Ainscough graduated with honours when she completed her Orthoptics degree from the University of Liverpool in 2008 where she was awarded the British and Irish Orthoptic Society’s Haddick Prize. She also completed a Masters of Medical Science (Vision Science and Strabismus) in 2014 from the University of Sheffield.

For 3 years, she worked as an AHP2 Orthoptist at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. Currently working as an Orthoptic Clinical Coordinator she focuses on developing an Orthoptic Triage service and extending the role of the orthoptists at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Natalie holds the position of South Australian representative for Orthoptics Australia while also being a member of Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) in UK and Australian Orthoptic Board.

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