10 September 2019 – International Medical University’s (IMU) Bachelor of Science (Hons) Dietetics with Nutrition students of cohort DN116 attended the long-awaited white coat ceremony at the auditorium of the University’s campus in Bukit Jalil. This ceremony signified the start of the clinical attachment for these students, the last phase of their university programme, and also their journey as healthcare professionals. The ceremony began with a meaningful speech given by the Dean, School of Health Sciences. Prof Winnie Chee Siew Swee. Prof Chee emphasised that “the white coat does not and should not shield clinicians from being human, it should not keep them from appreciating the emotions, concerns, and pain of their patients. It should not protect them from feeling. This is what the White Coat Ceremony is all about. This is why we are here today.” The ceremony also aimed to provide the students with guidelines regarding the expectations and responsibilities appropriate for the dietetics profession before the start of their clinical placement. Clinical attachment carries such importance to these students as it is a golden opportunity to gain valuable working and realistic experience about their future. The ceremony was then followed by the lecturers, faculty members and clinical instructors passing on the clinical white coat to the students of DN116 before they started reading the dietitian pledge as it marked the transition from student to clinical dietetics trainee.
|The students pledged to|
|treat every patient politely and with consideration|
|respect patients’ privacy and dignity|
|listen to patients and respect their views|
|not give patients information that they are not qualified to give|
|not to harm patients either by word, deed or omission|
|develop and practice the use of their skills and knowledge to the best of their ability|
|recognise the limits of their competence|
|be honest and trustworthy|
|respect and protect confidential information|
|make sure that their personal beliefs do not prejudice their dealings with patients|
|not allow considerations of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation to prejudice their dealings with patients|
|avoid abusing their position as students|
Overall, the students had mixed feelings. They were excited about putting their knowledge into real practice for clinical attachment but nervous at the same time. The ceremony was conducted after the students came back from their food service placement, and the upcoming clinical placement would be a brand new journey and experience for them. The White Coat Ceremony and kind words from the clinical educators have helped the students to view their roles as noble and perceive the importance of being reliable as it is, in fact, a big responsibility, even though they are just starting the journey as a student intern. The students hope that they will be capable at the end of the placement, and competent enough to deal with patients independently, making decisions wisely at all sorts of circumstances. The ceremony finally ended with a group photo and the signing of a pledge by each student, which marked the beginning of clinical attachment.