The BDA’s annual Dietitians Week (1st-5th June this year) is usually a combination of public events and online activity. Last week, however, was marked online, due to our social distancing rules. Was it still an exciting and meaningful awareness campaign? Well, there was certainly a lot of virtual noise, says our very own Dietitian’s Life columnist Louise Robertson.
In our department, we usually plan for Dietitians Week months in advance, but due to the current crisis, our minds had been elsewhere. So, we created a little working group to take our ideas forward quickly and pondered on what we could do that we hadn’t done before and what we could do to be a little creative and different.
After contacting the hospital communications department, we secured the Trust Instagram for the week and they had a great idea to come up with some professional graphics for us. Nevertheless, sadly, we couldn’t persuade any other members of the department to join us in some TikTok dancing!
The BDA guidance for promoting #WhatDietitiansDo suggested themes for us to follow each day. Myth-busting Monday gave us the opportunity to bust some of those common untruths and unspin the spin. Some dietitians busted the myths that we are not the food police and celery juice is not a magical cure, whilst others called out the myths surrounding diet and COVID-19 prevention.
The BDA also launched their Ads and Fads campaign, calling out nutritionally misleading adverts on social media.
On the Tuesday we celebrated the wider dietetic work force. Dietitians work closely with dietetic assistants and support workers to help their teams work smoothly. We also must not forget support staff such as admin and secretaries and we also work closely with other professionals in multidisciplinary teams, such as speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Wednesday focused on COVID-19 and how we have all had to change the way we work. Not just hospital dietitians, but also community and private practice dietitians. Many of us gave online insight into these changes with lots of photos of PPE and video conferences being posted.
On Thursday we looked at where dietitians can be found, highlighting the diversity of our roles. The BDA produced some graphics to show that we don’t just work in hospitals, but also in the community, in research, public health, in industry and with athletes.
Food Fact Friday kept us busy. I enjoyed learning that the biggest cheesecake ever made was 4240kg and a banana is really a berry! There were also a lot of helpful food facts for the public too.
A VIRTUAL SUCCESS
Even due to the limitations this year, we managed to have a great Dietitians Week. I especially enjoyed curating our Trust’s Instagram account. As well as adding photos and captions to the feed, we also curated Instagram stories to show how we work in our hospitals. Why not have a look at some of these here: https://www.instagram.com/uhbtrust/.
To see what you missed, check out the hashtags #DietitiansWeek2020, #WhatDietitiansDo, #MythBustingMonday and #FoodFactFriday.
Here’s to next year’s Dietitians Week and what it may bring and how a ‘new normal‘ might affect how we do our jobs.
Louise Robertson RD
Louise has been a qualified dietitian for 18 years, specialising in inherited metabolic disorders in the NHS for the past 12 years. She is also the dietitian for the Galactosaemia Support Group and runs her own blog, Dietitian’s Life: www.dietitianslife.com