Imagine if you did what You Love.....Everyday!
If someone had of told me this time last year I would be Businesswoman of the year in STEM category for Network Cork I really don’t think I would have believed it! Yet here I am having won Network Cork Business woman of the Year in STEM Professional & now as a finalist for the Network Ireland National Awards this October & I am so proud and feel honored to be representing Network Cork & STEM.
To explain this journey to where I am today here is some idea for you & all those interested in STEM as it has wonderful career prospects & is full of extremely rewarding work. My big take home for people would be, do what you love, don’t be afraid to step up & go for what you want & know is right for you, working in something you love makes life so much easier & that’s what is important for our life work balance, and I say Life first because it should come first, our happiness & health is the important key.
Health Promotion & Prevention has long been a passion of mine and is the reason why Health 4 U was founded.
Understanding our own body, from the perspective of, knowing when something feels off, knowing what affects us through food, the environment, our working environments & indeed our social environments. As it is only through this knowledge can we prevent ill health. We are our own greatest advocates, it is only ourselves who know when something is not right, despite what you may be told if attending a medical practitioner.
I believe if people are empowered with this knowledge, they will more confidentiality look after their health and not feel so indebted to someone else’s opinion of ‘their body’.
I started my journey as a nurse back in 1997. Having completed my leaving cert I started as a Pre Trainee that summer in a Dublin hospital. At that time in Ireland nursing was accessed through aptitude tests, which I sat twice over the next 2 years never gaining a high enough score to get a place, more applicants than places available. Once I received my leaving cert results & had failed biology, I could no longer continue as a Pre trainee. I returned to Kildare & started a similar course in Pre Nursing & was able to repeat biology. I applied to the UK for Nursing and was accepted to the University of Salford in Greater Manchester & Great Ormond Street in London. Unlike Ireland at that time, in the UK you could choose the branch you wanted to train in & I always believed paediatrics was for me so training in Great Ormond Street was what I assumed would be my 1st choice. I’m a firm believer in trusting your gut which has served me well over the years, and for reasons unknown to myself, and possibly a fanatical Man Utd Dad in my ear & probably hoping for a place to stay for games, I choose Salford & for the next few years this became my home and a place where I met friends for life who in truth were my ‘away family’. In that 1st year I soon realised paediatrics was not ‘my calling’ & was able to swap over to adult nursing. Had I been in Great Ormond Street, this obviously would not have been possible.
In 1998 I moved to Manchester, after the most memorable summer, Kildare’s last appearance in an All-Ireland final! Having been so upset at not getting to train in Ireland, not because of moving abroad but more so for the training I believed I would be missing out on in Ireland. However, numerous times over my career I have been reminded of how lucky I was to train where I did. With fantastic mentors, a lot of different cultures, &b health issues very different to Ireland, I learned skills for a lifetime, some of which still today are not permitted to be provided by nurses in Ireland. When I moved back to Ireland, the plan which was short term as I planned on travelling, I worked in St James’s Hospital in Dublin & Naas General hospital where I had a massive culture shock into nursing in Ireland in comparison to the services available in the UK which I was used to providing for my patients. Again I was lucky with the those I worked with, encouraging autonomy & learning. I am someone who learns lessons from all their experiences, work & personal, the good & the bad, they all teach us something which help us to grow.
I then travelled to Australia, seeing about 2/3 of the country & worked in Perth, Melbourne & Brisbane. Again I met wonderful experiences & gained so many new skills & exposure to a healthcare system so different to here & something I would strive to be provided here, both for patients & for the working environment for staff.
I also met my husband in Australia & hence my move to Cork!
Since returning home I have worked in many different roles within the public & private sectors, from Nurse Specialist, to Nurse Manager to Research Nurse & credit every patient, mentor, role & educator with shaping me to be the professional I am today, in essence helping me to shape preventative care with Health 4 U.
My many roles across different sectors enabled me to find my next passion in Nutrition, following frustrations of not being able to provide my patients with the support & guidance I knew they needed. My path to naturopathic nutritional therapy was borne!
At Health 4 U we help you to understand your health & triggers for your health allowing you to manage any current illness/symptoms & to prevent ill health. Let me explain how we do this?
How Do We Prevent Disease?
Health screening is a very effective way to early detection of particular conditions / diseases, allowing you better control over your health. Testing your risk of conditions / disease is a great way to identify if you are risk & then enables you to choose a path to optimal health in preventing these conditions. Understanding results and what levels are optimal, is an important way to prevent ill health.
Early detection of disease means that you can give your body the best defence against these conditions/diseases preventing chronic disease through diet and lifestyle changes.
Health 4 U provides Diagnostic Health Screening which allows us to tailor your nutritional & lifestyle plans to optimise your health & prevent ill health
Health Screening at Health 4 U
- Blood Pressure & Heart rate – this allows us to determine your risk of conditions such as atrial fibrillation, stroke, heart attacks.
- Cardiovascular screening – Instant results of Full lipid profiles, the gold standard for measuring your risk of heart disease is the non-HDL ratio.
- Diabetes screening – HbA1C – instant results which will determine your risk, of developing diabetes which can contribute to a myriad of other illness’s.
- Inflammatory markers – Instant results of C Reactive protein measures our level of inflammation in our body. While CRP cannot detect exactly where that inflammation is, in corporation with nutritional therapy assessments, the results can indicate if you need to look at food choices to reduce inflammation in the body to improve your quality of life. Low grade inflammation over time leads to chronic disease.
- Haemoglobin – instant result of your iron level and is important to understand if your levels are optimal or not, as a diet low in iron can have a myriad of symptoms such as fatigue, feeling short of breath, confusion, agitation, lower concentration levels. This is a great test to detect lower iron levels in children as it is a fingertip test meaning a much less invasive procedure than have a venous blood sample taken.
- Kidney Disease – Instant result of your Albumin creatinine ratio is measured to test for your risk of kidney disease which is a particularly important screening for those who already have high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.
- The following tests offer a very informative answer to your health, these are functional tests are are carried out at laboratories in the UK, Germany & America.
- Omega 3 Levels – measures Omega 3 Index, Omega 6:3 & AA:EPA ratio to determine your risk of disease with heart & brain health & your longevity. These tests take approx. 1 week for results to be returned.
- Vitamin D Levels – ensuring your vitamin D level is sufficient can protect your bone health, immunity & your vitality. These tests take approx. 1 week for results to be returned.
- Food Sensitivity Testing – Antibody testing to determine food / environment sources which may be contributing to low grade inflammation. These results take approx. 1 week & will guide an elimination diet to reset your immune system.
So Why Should you Choose Health 4 U?
Quite simply the answer is time, listening & truly hearing what is happening to you. When you attend your GP or a consultant you will have 15- 20 mins appointments looking at the symptoms you present with that day, they don’t have the time to detail all that is going on for you. At Health 4 U, our in depth holistic assessments give us the full picture of what is going on in your body. We look at your current medical history, your past medical history right back to when you were born, your family history, your lifestyle, home life, work life and then we go through each body system in detail, we fact find, looking to find the root cause of imbalances, the reason why you are experiencing whichever symptom / difficultly your having, we don’t treat disease or condition perse, we support and guide you to optimal health to manage current health issues / prevent chronic disease.
Do what you love, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
Working in something you are passionate about will never feel like ‘work, work’!
Imagine how your mental health improves by doing something you love!
Nothing in life is easy, but it is worth it, you can do anything or be anything you want to be, once you give it the time & passion it needs.