In early May, the IMU Nutrition and Dietetics (N&D) Division had the privilege of hosting 3 students from Sri-Ramachandran University (SRU), India to continue their dietetics clinical training in Malaysia for a period of one month. The main objective for the students was to experience the conduct of nutrition care process and implementation of medical nutrition therapy by Dietitians in both government and private hospital sectors in Malaysia. They also wanted to acquire a global perspective and cultural sensitivity of dietetic management in a foreign country with the opportunity to create a global networking platform.
IMU and SRU had collaborated in various teaching and learning activities such as case study discussions in the past as a result of signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions. As part of the collaboration, SRU students spent 1 month with IMU attending various teaching and learning activities:
- Experienced clinical training with IMU clinical educators in Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar, Seremban (HTJS) and Cardiac Vascular Sentral KL (CVSKL)
- Engaged with IMU students on food culture exchange (interaction during practical sessions with Year 1 students and IMU Nutrition & Dietetics Student Association Committee Members)
- Attended workshops related to Nutrition care process and critical thinking in dietetics conducted by IMU faculty
- Visited Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOB) to learn about palm oil and its benefits
- Participated in virtual case discussions with Rutgers University and IMU final year students
During their first day in HTJS, the SRU students were briefed on their clinical placement which included details on the in-house food services, oral nutrition supplements, dietitian’s documentation format and role of a dietitian in the clinical setting. Students were exposed to various cases in HTJS such as malnutrition, enteral feeding cases, paediatric cases and surgical cases. They also had discussion with our Clinical Instructors on various nutrition screening tools, nutrition assessment, nutrition diagnosis terminology, nutrition intervention, nutrition focused physical findings, nutrition monitoring as well as nutrition evaluation using the reference from Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
The clinical sessions helped the students and the clinical instructors to discuss the differences and similarities in case management in India and Malaysia. The students appreciated the evidence-based practice and benefitted much from the discussions. The students understood the unique implication of diversifying dietetics intervention in a multicultural community.
IMU students of all cohorts had a good opportunity to interact with the SRU students during sessions such as in case discussion session, bonding over lunch, discussion on food cultures of both country and food preparation practical. The case discussion session was particularly beneficial as it provided opportunity to both IMU and SRU students to acquire a global perspective and cultural sensitivity of dietetic management in both the countries.
Additionally, SRU students had the opportunity to witness the collaboration with our partner university, Rutgers University via virtual case discussion rounds with our final year students. The SRU students observed sharing of cases from a different country across the world and how our students connected with other dietetics students from other parts of the world. It broadened their insight on how dietetics students have the chance to exchange their knowledge from a different country.
As the SRU students have not yet been able to undergo food service training in India, the opportunity to perform this training with CVSKL in Malaysia filled the students with excitement. Over the course of four days, the SRU students as interns in CVSKL were involved in exploring the roles and responsibilities of kitchen staffs, beginning from food purchase, food preparation, food serving at the tray line till delivery the meals to the patients. The student’s exposure to standard meal versus disease specific meals further made them appreciate the food serving placement.
SRU students also had a very enriching beyond the classroom experience at a visit to MPOB as part of their learning experience. The students shared their realisation on the myths about palm oil and greater knowledge on its properties and uses as well as the importance of palm oil to the Malaysian economy.
The SRU students also had fun hands-on activities in IMU by preparing their own local cuisines together with first year Dietetics students (DN122 cohort) in our N&D Laboratory. They enjoyed the activities together and were proud to serve local Indian foods to their IMU friends during the sessions, making their placement in IMU to be even more memorable. During their stay in Malaysia, the students also enjoyed their visits to several tourist spots including Batu Caves, Little India, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Port Dickson and Putrajaya.
Towards the end of their training, the students had a Virtual Medical Nutrition Therapy (VMNT) learning session in IMU Main Campus Bukit Jalil. IMU had always offered different methods of teaching and learning to ensure the students equip themselves with vast knowledge for the market demand after graduation. The SRU students’ training in IMU ended with farewell dinner organised by our INSDA committee. The SRU students were touched by the warm hospitality given by the IMU Dietetics students and faculty members.
“I am pleased that I made the decision to attend my one-month internship in IMU. Aside from looking for opportunities to live, study and work in Malaysia, I was fascinated with the different cultures, foods, and the warm hospitality I experienced during my stay here in Malaysia.”
“When compared to my previous experience and knowledge in the last four and a half years as a Dietetic student, it has vastly grown in this past one month of my training here in IMU. The IMU Clinical Instructors were amazing; they taught us very specifically and required us to use critical thinking to determine which nutrition therapy would be most beneficial to the patient. I was very happy that I had excellent tutoring for the past four weeks to expand my knowledge in the Dietetics field. The information I acquired here, I will ensure that I’ll use it to my fullest to become Clinical Dietitian soon, ‘’ says Srimathi, one of the SRU students accompanying Aashi and Nameera.
Written by Nur Adila binti Samingan