Karen - Community Nutrition & Wellbeing Visitor
Karen joined our Nutrition and Wellbeing Team in December 2016. Hear Karen share her story on what it’s like to work for HILS:
“About a year ago, I was in need of a career change, but I was also a bit apprehensive about leaving a secure teaching job that I had been in for 15 years! I was looking for a role that would utilise my years of experience as a nurse and midwife, but did not wish to return to the stress or unsociable hours of my previous role.
“When I saw the new role of a Nutrition and Wellbeing Visitor being advertised by HILS, I was intrigued. I was impressed by the ethos of care which oozed from their website, not only for the many vulnerable clients they serve, but also for each other. I sensed a true ‘team spirit’. My first impressions were soon confirmed during the interview process, which focused very much on my ‘people skills’ and ability to relate to a range of clients with different needs, including those with various stages of dementia. Professionalism and a caring attitude are viewed as the most important attributes – everything else can be taught!
“The induction into the company, and the nutrition team, was the most thorough and helpful I have ever experienced, and within a matter of weeks I felt settled, well-equipped, and most of all, valued. It is a pleasure to come to work every day now. I am responsible for organising my visits to our vulnerable clients across Hertfordshire, and thoroughly enjoy meeting them and their families. I weigh and measure them, and work out their body mass index and if any are underweight, or suffering from malnutrition. I am able to offer them free extra nutritious snacks to help them achieve healthy weight gain. If a case is particularly complex, I am able to seek advice from, or refer the client to, our Registered Dietitian. When clients are overweight, or not eating a suitable diet, I am also able to discuss strategies with our Registered Nutritionist so there is always lots of support available.
“During my visit, I also discuss all types of issues associated with maintaining independence and safety within the client’s home, as well as identifying any emotional and social needs they may have. Together, we plan to meet these needs by working in partnership with other organisations such as Age UK, Herts Help and The Wellbeing Service. After each visit, there is some inevitable paperwork to do, letters to write, referrals to be made, and electronic records to update; but time is available for this within the working day. I feel very lucky to have found a job that I really enjoy, and in a company which is truly committed to the clients in its care and improving their independence in their own homes. With HILS record for innovation and progress, who knows where the next few years might lead me!”