13th April 2020 marks the first day of my Student Internship Program and I had the privilege to serve my internship in 365 Cancer Prevention Society (365CPS). Coming into this position, I did not know what to expect and lacked confidence about what I could do, but the staff were very friendly and welcoming, and I felt at ease immediately.
As a Nutrition Intern, I had the opportunity to work alongside and assist the dietitian, while helping to complete duties such as creating education materials, infographics, modification of recipes, and also getting involved in some kitchen & photography work.
Slowly, I get to know more about the Society’s services and was greatly amazed by the wide variety of activities catered to the members, ranging from health talks, physical exercises, art & dance classes to even ukulele classes.
The past few months had been a unique one as we transit to a ‘new normal’. Even with COVID-19, 365CPS did not let it deter them from providing these activities to cancer fighters. Though there were struggles from moving to a virtual platform initially, it was admirable that each of them patiently guided the members and helped them adapt to this new change. I am constantly inspired by their professionalism, kindness and dedication towards the members of 365CPS.
I had the opportunity to be involved in phone consultation with some of the members, along with the dietitian as part of nutrition counselling. I was able to better understand their different dietary needs or difficulties encountered, especially those undergoing treatment. Each of them has different conditions and requirements, but the ultimate goal of the dietitian is to help them feel better and stay stronger.
Most importantly, this phone nutrition counselling made me realised the importance of forming bonds with patients. In order to truly understand their needs and help them, it is important to create a personal bond with them so that they feel comfortable to talk about themselves. I am fortunate to witness this bond between the dietitian and her patients as she managed to create a positive and trusting environment in every session for each patient. It is not an easy task as a combination of skills is needed, but it has become one of my goals as I intend to pursue a career in Dietetics.
Once again, I am extremely grateful to be part of 365 Cancer Prevention Society for the past 20 weeks of internship. It was truly a fruitful and valuable experience, both from an academic and personal perspective. After this internship, I am even more motivated to work hard towards my goal and serve the community, reaching out to cancer patients in need.