Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice bucket challenge # IBC behaviour change

By Joanna Teece Dietitian NHS Fife

IceBucketChallengeThe Ice Bucket Challenge. Did you do it? What a great way to raise awareness of life limiting conditions such as motor neurone disease and cancer.

As a Dietitian previously working in an Oncology Centre and then within Community Nutrition Support Teams, I have first hand experience of the impacts of these conditions and seeing the difference dietetic advice can make. So what’s this got to do with the ice bucket challenge?

Well it got me thinking. I now work in Weight Management. Obesity is another life limiting condition and watching my Facebook feed churn out Ice Bucket Challenge, after Ice Bucket challenge you soon see we are all shapes and sizes. Oh and it’s best not to wear a white t-shirt!!

I could see the analogy between doing the challenge and maybe coming along to a Dietetic clinic or group for the first time. Once I’d been nominated, there was the initial excitement, then the fear, then the dilemma of what to wear. First impressions count. Then how long would it take to tip the water over, how cold would it be, would I scream, laugh or cry. Who would I nominate?

As I sit waiting for my group, I wonder if they have had similar thoughts. Excitement that they have a place within a weight management group, fear that they may not lose weight, the dilemma of what to wear, whether they will fit in. How long will the session last? Will they have to talk? What if they get emotional during the session?

JR1As a Dietitian we are experts in behaviour change and a key part to a successful group or clinic consultation is setting the scene and making our patients feel comfortable and listened too.

Like the Ice Bucket Challenge we often only have a short burst of time to do it right. In a clinic it may be as little as 15 or 30 minutes to make the right impression, listen, assess, diagnose, treat, set outcomes and motivate to make changes. It’s no wonder after a busy clinic, I feel drained yet exhilarated and rather like the Ice Bucket Challenge once I’ve had a hot cup of tea, ready to do it all over again.


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