Maria Regine Aminao, first year Nursing Student of IMU describes her experience of participating one of the IMU Cares Community Project at TiRatana Welfare Society. As part of a community project, IMU Nursing Division organised a Health and Nutritional Assessment at TiRatana Residence on 23 April 2022. Led by Dr Lim Swee Geok, a total of 10 faculty members and 10 students from Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Community Medicine, Clinical Skills and Pathology had engaged with 60 children at the centre. During the visit, I had the opportunity to experience various assessments being conducted including eye test, assessment of the hair, skin, measurement of weight, height, arm circumference, BMI and health education.
These activities are in line with the IMU Cares’ mission to promote good health and well-being, with three main targeted objectives including enhancing knowledge and improving skills on assessment of health and nutritional status, identifying early signs of health and/or nutritional deficiencies among the residents and planning for follow-up intervention/treatment of deficiencies in health or nutritional status were identified.
It was my first time joining an IMU Cares event and I felt enthusiastic to meet the children and put my nursing skills into practice.
We started our journey from IMU by bus at 9am. Once we arrived, we were quickly assigned to various stations, mainly nutritional assessment, eye test, skin and hair assessment stations.
Each station was led by team leaders comprising of faculty members with two students assigned as their assistants. I was assigned to assist with the hair and skin assessment station.
The older children were very cooperative, unlike younger children which I found a bit challenging as they were still learning how to speak and were not yet able to communicate. Thankfully, their guardian was with them. She helped us to communicate with the younger children so that the process went on easily. In addition, the children were delighted to receive stationery and some snacks as a reward. It was a great experience and very meaningful to me.
What I learned is something valuable which is to help the community, especially those children. The hands-on activities further enhanced my confidence in conducting the health assessment/screening and counselling. I realised that the event was successfully carried out as there was good teamwork/ cooperation between both faculty and students.
Although there are 60 children to be screened, everyone was clear of their roles, assessment was carried out without any delay, and we managed to complete it earlier than planned. The project not only helped the residents to gain awareness and knowledge in maintaining their health and nutritional status, but it also promotes interprofessional learning between Nursing and other disciplines at IMU. Although it is tiring, my classmates and I truly enjoyed the event. I’m grateful for this IMU Cares programme and will look forward to participating in future IMU Cares events.
Written by: Maria Regine Aminao (NU121 – Semester 1)