Thursday, October 23, 2008

Newsletter From KEVIN PETER..

From right: Chim Wei Wen, Tan Yi Xuen, Liew Yii Ann and Lim Bee Yee

My recent visit to SMJK Ave Maria Convent Ipoh was truly an eye-opener…
eye-opening experience. Besides the many outstanding academic and co-curricular achievements the school has accomplished, the premier institution can also be proud of a group of students who quietly do their fair bit for the school community.
Welcome to the AMC Clinic. This is one clinic with a difference. It has no doctors, no nurses, no life-saving paraphernalia but it has the ability to alleviate discomforts, to stop bleeding, to treat burns and scalding. Once, it had even attended, rather expertly and calmly, to an office worker who had fainted.
Serving more than 2000 members of the school community is not a problem for a group of diligent and highly-skilled altruistic girls in white.Yes, they are the St John Ambulance members who have served selflessly since the clinic’s inception three years ago.
Two years ago, a mishap befell a Form One girl who unwarily placed her little finger near the gate. Shouts of panic and horror filled the air as her finger was severed when the sharp edge of the gate cut right across her little finger. The St John Ambulance girls who were at the scene knew exactly what to do. They rushed the girl to the clinic, applied first aid to stop the bleeding. The few who had remained at the scene calmly retrieved the finger. The amputated finger was placed in a clean plastic bag, sealed up and the bag was then placed inside a larger plastic bag containing ice and a little water.
When the casualty was rushed to the hospital, the doctor was astonished by the girls’ excellent methods in handling a highly delicate case. The finger was still in such a well-preserved condition, it was successfully re-attached!
AMC St John Ambulance chairlady Chim Wei Wen, a Form Five student, was filled with excitement when she shared with Ipoh Echo another success story her charges had dutifully fulfilled.
Recently, a motorist was injured when her car overturned just outside the school. Passers-by, instead of notifying the ambulance, took the casualty to the AMC clinic. Members were immediately mobilised to assess and treat the injured woman.
Chim, who has been a St John Ambulance member since Form One, said the common cases among students who frequent the clinic are period pains, stomach ache, headache, dizziness and gastric problems.
Other cases referred to them involve sprains and muscle strain suffered during physical activities.
“Sometimes we also attend to those stung by bees and injury resulting from cuts and burns – these from activities in the art room and workshop,” she volunteered.
Looking smart and neat in her uniform, Chim who was elected head of the division a year ago, said members are on stand-by everyday from 12pm to 5pm.
This requires the morning session girls to take charge of the clinic after school and the afternoon girls to be on duty before classes start for the day.
There are no sophisticated equipment similar to those found in a hospital. Chim and the members make do with a bed, a wheel chair (rarely for a school to have this), a stretcher and medications for external applications.
Teacher adviser Miss Tan Pei Nee praised her highly dynamic girls. Besides being very independent and resourceful, the students are continuously bettering their first aid and clinical skills by regularly attending home nursing classes, first aid classes and training camps.


They also enroll themselves in medical related examinations and participate in first aid and home nursing competitions. They also enter flag signaling and cooking competitions in the area, state and national level.
Miss Tan added that the girls have adequately equipped themselves with fire fighting and survival skills. They have also been exposed to casualty simulation like making simulated blood and make-up wounds.
St John Ambulance girls from SMJK Ave Maria Convent made headlines in 2006 when they represented the state in the Annual First Aid & Home Nursing Competition under the Nursing Adult & Nursing Cadet Category. They repeated the feat this year after the members brilliantly rolled out their flawless performance in five areas – uniform test, foot drill test, home nursing (long case) test, first aid (short case) test and highest individual (written) test.
The school’s St John Ambulance cadet team was the state champion in the Cooking Competition 2008 jointly organised by the Hilir Perak Education Department and the Perak St John Ambulance held at SMK Horley Methodist, Teluk Intan last August. Thirty eight teams from throughout the state took part in the competition.
Also in August, the team emerged champions in the state-level Annual March Past Competition held in Taman D.R. Seenivasagam in Ipoh. A number of 210 members, from the Remove class to Form Five students, represented the school.
The selfless St John Ambulance girls at Ave Maria have achieved much by remaining faithful to and passionate about their desire to serve – just as advocated by the motto of the organisation.
From a handful of members when the division was first started, it now boasts a membership of 250 adult and cadet members, with three active divisions – NA 17 (which was registered in May 1976), NC 21 (July 1976) and NC 33 (Dec 1986).
Miss Tan stated that over the years she has been with the uniformed body unit, she has observed the strong enviable camaraderies among the student members.
The girls have also developed and maintained healthy living habits and a respect for structure, rules and responsibilities.
They exercise leadership, esprit de corps and citizenship skills.
From Ipoh Echo, thumbs up!
The administrators, teachers and members of the SMJK Ave Maria Convent St John Ambulance should be highly commended.

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