Published on 26 September 2012
26 September 2012
A Caloundra personal assistant who enrolled at the University of the Sunshine Coast at age 46 for a career change now says she is “living the dream”, working as a clinical dietitian in the culturally diverse town of Alice Springs.
Margo Bell gained the job at Alice Springs Hospital earlier this year, just before officially graduating from her USC Nutrition and Dietetics program.
“My interest in Indigenous health was further inspired by a guest lecturer at USC and I love the variety of work here,” she said.
“I’m responsible for the nutritional care and management of patients on various wards and at a nearby kidney dialysis unit.
“As part of my role as a kidney disease dietitian, I also attend outreach clinics in remote areas with the renal team of specialist doctors and nurses.”
Margo said she enjoyed working within traditional Indigenous culture as well as living in a cosmopolitan town of people from across Australia and the globe.
“I’m learning about Central Australian Indigenous culture, languages and traditional foods,” she said. “It certainly makes my job interesting and challenging when planning a patient’s discharge.”
Margo started her study in 2007 by enrolling in USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway, a program that equips students with the skills and knowledge needed for undergraduate studies.
“I left school in Year 11 but always had a yearning to go to uni,” she said. “A diagnosis of breast cancer spurred me to put my dreams into action.
“TPP provided a seamless transition to my degree and was the best introduction to life as a uni student. I researched universities and chose USC for reasons such as its very high teaching quality ratings as well as its location and size.”
Margo said she treated her degree as a job and her hard work was rewarded with the awarding of a USC Faculty Medal for academic excellence.
“My Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics was a great mix of science, physiology, nutrition and all things food,” she said.
“It offered insights into the exciting work possibilities, from medical to public health and sports, and my work placements at hospitals and community health sites were the best preparation for the real world.”
— Julie Schomberg