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Jun 14, 2023

Meet Dana from Northcott’s therapy team


Dana is part of Northcott’s therapy team. As a dietitian, she provides assessments and ongoing therapy in Parramatta, Ryde, and Western Sydney. Dana assists adults with disability and their carers to ensure their nutritional needs are being met and supports them to make informed choices about food.

Dana also works with key stakeholders such as health practitioners to support the needs of individuals. She offers support with developing skills such as preparing healthy meals and snacks, creating shopping lists, meal planning, enriching foods with extra nutrients and creating a balanced lifestyle.

We asked Dana to answer a few questions to find out more about her. Check out her answers below!

What can dietitians help with?

Key conditions that dietetics can help with include:
• Weight changes (gaining or losing weight)
• Bowel issues, even if it’s caused by medication
• Medical conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure
• Gut troubles
• Fussy eating
• Pressure injuries and wound healing
• Difficulties with chewing and swallowing

Why did you become a dietitian?

I’m the kind of person who is really interested in people. I find the way different people interact with and experience the world fascinating. I also love food and figured that dietetics was a great way to combine both interests. As I learned more about the science behind the impact of food and nutrients on our bodies, I understood the impact that dietitians can have on our health and quality of life. I know this profession is the right fit for me.

Tell us about how you work with your customers

I integrate person-centred and trauma-informed care into each of my sessions. I also take into consideration how each customers environment, culture, routine, medical conditions, body functions and psychology all have huge roles to play in what and how they eat.

Tell us about your experience

My main experience is working with teens, adults and their carers to manage a variety of conditions. I’m passionate about empowering my customers with the tools they need to independently manage their health, nutrition and eating. I often work with other healthcare professionals such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists , behaviour support practitioners and support workers to make this as much of a reality as possible.

Tell us about one of your customer success stories

One teenage girl was referred to me by her parents for rapid weight gain and an unmanageable appetite.
When I assessed her, I also found that she had troubles with her bowels. She had diarrhoea, severe bloating, and stomach pain. Her parents said that whenever she showed these symptoms, her behavioural concerns would increase. She would also become visibly distressed if they tried to reduce her portion sizes.

When we met, this customer was building on the skills required to communicate her needs and preferences with others. Discussing her communication strategies with her parents, speech pathologist and behaviour support practitioner was an important part to helping this customer improve her diet.

I worked with the customer and her parents to regulate her bowels through eating enough of the right kinds of foods and drinking enough fluid. Her care team were so excited to report that her bloating had gone away, she no longer had diarrhoea and her behaviours of concern had reduced. Regulating her bowels also helped to manage her appetite, and she was no longer showing distress at mealtimes.

We then worked on strategies to make sure her diet was giving her all the nutrients she needed for her age and development. This allowed for catch up growth, which helped to improve her height to weight ratio.
It felt rewarding to empower this family with skills and knowledge they needed to support their daughter’s health.

Are you looking for support?

The Northcott Therapy team are a group of experienced and highly skilled professionals who work together to provide a range of services, catering to the needs of children, teenagers and adults. The team offer personalised services to individuals and those that support them, to help them achieve their goals. Dana currently has availability Monday – Wednesday. Call 1800 700 649 to receive dietetic support from Dana.

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