Nutrition plays a vital role in burn care. In particular, nutritional support represent a critical component in the care of acutely burned patients. The unique nutritional needs of a burn patient mean close attention must be paid to the unique hypermetabolic state, which results in loss of lean body mass and impaired wound healing. Early provision of nutrition support in a correct manner is vital in enabling the successful closure of wounds and resolution of the hypermetabolic state.
The Interburns Training Centre (ITC) at Choithram Hospital & Research Centre, Indore, India is offering a fellowship in burns nutrition for burn care professionals looking to improve their own skills and knowledge. In October 2013 ITC Indore conducted its first advanced training workshop on nutrition support in burns patients and a large number of professionals from the region participated in this workshop. James Flyn from Bournemouth University UK has recently successfully completed a fellowship in Burns Nutrition Care in July 2014.
The Interburns Training Centre in India is now accepting further applications from health care professionals who wish to complete a fellowship in nutrition in burn care. These are offered as part of the ITC’s training programme and will be run by Ms Pratibha Sharma, Nutritionist at ITC and Dr Shobha Chamania, Director of the ITC.
Who can apply?
All health care professionals dedicated to burn care who have a special interest in burns nutrition can apply for this fellowship, including nutritionists, surgeons, nurses, paramedic staff, dietician technicians and nutrition students. Interburns will accept health care professionals from different regions and countries provided they can demonstrate an interest in and commitment to burn care. After completion of the fellowship, the fellow will be required to submit a formal report to Interburns and will be awarded a fellowship certificate.
Please apply to officeATinterburnsDOTorg with your curriculum vitae/resume, a letter outlining your areas of interest and proposed dates for the fellowship.
Interburns Fellowship at Choithram Hospital and Research Centre – James Flynn
My name is James Flynn. I am a Nutrition BSc student at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. As part of my degree I was required to secure a 20 day work based placement with the aim to gain insight in to the work carried out by the professional Dietician in a practical setting. This led me to a meeting with Dr. Tom Potokar, Interburns Director. For the past 20 workings days within the Month of July 2014 I have been based at Choithram Hospital and Research Centre on the Burns Unit as an Interburns fellow. The following report details a few of my main experiences, what I have learned, and challenges I have faced during my stay.
One aim for my stay at Choithram was to take the opportunity granted to me to learn as much as possible from the members working on the Burns Unit. My daily routine consisted of shadowing the trainee Dieticians as they performed the rounds on the unit. This allowed me insight in to the role and daily work of the clinical Dietician specialising in burn injuries. Soon I was trusted with recording the 24 hour dietary recall information for each patient, then calculating the daily recommended intakes for calories and protein based from this data. When new patients were admitted to the ward I was also tasked assessing the recommended intakes via use of the Currieri formula.
These experiences expanded both my knowledge and confidence. Each day I became increasingly aware of the habitual Indian diet, it’s positive aspects and potential problems when considering burn injuries. I became proficient using the Curreri formula for nutritional assessments and using the National Institute of Nutrition guide to look up and calculate the nutritional content of foods based on the proportions consumed by patients. Challenges I faced during my daily routine included calculating the nutritional content of foods with which I was not previously aware, though this was not an issue which affected my work as I was given guidance by my mentor. I also had to, at times, deal with understandably distraught or emotionally charged patients. In these situations I observed how the members of the unit conducted themselves and soon learned to adopt a compassionate attitude. The language barrier was at times an issue, although I found a smile and ‘Namaste’ can go a long way.
I also used my time at Choithram to collect data for my upcoming dissertation project titled ‘Does the nutritional knowledge held by clinical health professionals affect their confidence to engage in nutrition counseling with patients?’ (working title) .The head of the Dietetics department, the head of the Burns Unit and my mentor all read my 2,000 word proposal and granted me access to a range of doctors, nurses and trainee Dieticians to whom I distributed a short questionnaire. As it was my responsibility to gather the data I had to explain the research aims and display personal and professional integrity in dealing with the data. This experience helped develop my communication skills in the clinical environment.
I visited a children’s centre in a local low income community on two separate occasions. My first trip was an introduction the environment, to form relationships with the children and to gather information on the composition of the diets and the health challenges faced. On my second trip I returned with an aim to present to the children on nutrition with a poster I had designed as a visual aid and also plant fruit trees with the children. I valued these experiences greatly and hope that the children got something out of my visits. I did, at times feel as though the gesture was too small in the face of the challenges faced. I also felt that future visits to the community should aim to engage with parents and caregivers of these children to educate them so that they may disseminate their improved knowledge to their children.
Overall I feel I have learned a great deal from my time at Choithram hospital. On a personal level I feel I have gained a cultural competence though the relationships I have formed with fellow health workers, the patients of the ward and the community members. On a professional level I have gained great insight in to the role of the Dietician on the burns unit. I have learnt much about burn injuries, their clinical manifestation, associated complications and the methods of nutritional support provided to aid recovery. I am eternally thankful to Interburns and the staff at Choithram for their warm acceptance of me as one of the team. I am determined continue to raise funds and awareness for Interburns in the future as a way to give back to the people who have given so much to me.
– James Flynn