The Erasmus experience of a Belgian student

V.l.n.r.: Daniela Wewerka-Kreimel (stv. Studiengangsleiterin und Praktikumsbetreuerin), Matteo Déom, Alexandra Kolm (Projektleiterin IMPECD), Elisabeth Höld (Projektmitarbeiterin IMPECD)

Assistance in international IMPECD-project

Matteo Déom, a nutrition and dietetics student at the University College Leuven Limburg (Belgium) did his clinical internship at the university medical center St. Pölten and his traineeship at the University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in St. Pölten. For 14 weeks, he has been a helping hand. Next to his job, Matteo got to know many new Erasmus friends and visited many cities.

At the hospital, he helped patients with different kind of diseases and problems, such as cancer, kidney disorders, diabetes mellitus, heart disease and gastro-enterological problems. His job focused on helping patients with their nutrition. Matteo has done this by thoroughly giving attention to the dietetic care process (dietetic assessment and diagnosis, intervention planning and implementation and evaluation & monitoring). Besides this, he consolidated a patient about the nutrition at home, after he will be released from the hospital.

Assistance in international project

At the UAS, Matteo was a great support within the IMPECD-project. His first big assignment was to gather information about different types of diabetes mellitus type 2 guidelines around the world. He compared the guidelines from the ADA (American Diabetes Association), AWMF (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften) Leitlinien, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), ÖDG (Österreichische Diabetes Gesellschaft), IDF (International Diabetes Federation) and the EASD (European Association for the Study of Diabetes).

Furthermore he was involved in the completion of a clinical case (heart disease) invented for the IMPECD-project. The clinical cases will be used to create virtual patients for the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). These virtual patients ire supposed to teach the participants of the MOOC possible ways of treatment. Matteo included the Belgian ICF-model (International Classification of Functioning) for the patient assessment. Afterwards, he linked the Austrian PESR-model (Problem, Etiology, Signs/Symptoms and Resources) to this ICF-model for the nutrition diagnosis. Then the nutrition goal, set by the use of SMART-goals, followed together with the nutrition intervention and evaluation and monitoring.

Within the third assignment, Matteo completed and reviewed a case about gestational diabetes mellitus for Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen and followed the same steps as for the above-mentioned case.

Other tasks considered a presentation about the Belgian nutrition, problems and solutions and a presentation of the case about heart disease to the students.

Leisure activities & friendships

Next to his job assignments, Matteo got to know many other Erasmus students during the introduction week, at the beginning of his traineeship.). The ISN (International Student Network - provided many city trips (eg. Prague, Salzburg and Vienna). Besides that, he attended many other ISN- organized activities.  Movie nights, bowling, playing mini golf and visiting the Christmas markets were some of the activities that were on the program. He found it beneficial to have an Erasmus buddy, with whom he played games, baked cookes or visited nearby castles.   And last but not least Matteo said, if you have the opportunity to meet friends who are living in other parts of Austria for example in Tirol, then you can visit them and have a good time.

Matteos impressions

According to Matteo, his experience in St. Pölten was great. He has met many good friends for life and had some unforgettable adventures. To him, it has been very interesting to see the differences of solving case studies in Belgium and Austria. Different models are being used, but a combination of both, the ICF- and PESR-model seems to be the ideal solution to give the patient the best treatment. This is why he is of the opinion, that a standardized tool for the proper education of nutrition and dietetics is essential. It will not only help students, but also patients and dietitians. That is why Matteo thinks that the IMPECD-project and the MOOC are very good initiatives. Furthermore this increases the opportunity to improve networking and international student exchanges.

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