Rouages: "Getting students to think about their health behaviors".

Dominique Makhloufi and Quentin Dudon both work in the joint preventive medicine and health prevention service (SCMPPS). On the Montpellier IUT site, they receive students for consultations and carry out various preventive actions on campus. They tell us all about it in the Rouages video series produced by the University of Montpellier. Get moving!

It's on the site of the IUT Montpellier-Sète in Occitanie that we have an appointment that day. It's a beautiful spring day, and we take the opportunity to set up the camera in the shade of the pine trees. Dominique Makhloufi, a nurse, and Quentin Dudon, a preventive medicine doctor, are preparing for the shoot in a small, single-storey building below the entrance gate, fine-tuning their speeches. While the joint preventive medicine and health prevention service employs almost forty staff, a dozen or so are busy in this small branch in Occitanie, fulfilling their mission of prevention and health promotion for all UM staff and students.

Nearly 1,500 consultations a year

While Dominique Makhloufi is permanently based at this site, Quentin Dudon works at three of the SCMPPS's six branches: " I provide consultations at Richter, at the Institut de biologie downtown and here at the IUT. The main task of both is to provide medical consultations, in particular for "students in PASS and paramedical courses, to monitor their compulsory vaccinations for the second-year internship, particularly for tuberculosis", explains Dominique Makhloufi, before adding : "I also follow fourth-year pharmacy students halfway through their studies" . All in all, nearly 1,500 consultations a year. These health students, summoned by e-mail, " don't always understand the value of preventive medicine and why they are summoned. We need to educate them and explain the purpose of these medical visits," emphasizes Quentin Dudon, who has recently started receiving international students at Richter.  

Psychological follow-up

Psychological follow-up of students is also a priority at these consultations, where the main aspects of their lives linked to their health and the success of their studies are assessed: sleep, diet, well-being and overall health. " Many don't have GPs or access to healthcare. They may encounter social, financial or psychological difficulties... It's very important for the University to help them," confides Quentin Dudon, who appreciates more than anything the " transversal and diversified " dimension of his job. "Depending on their needs, we can also refer them to other health professionals, whether or not they belong to the University," adds Dominique Makhloufi.

A pivotal period

And prevention means prevention actions, an essential part of their work on the Triolet, Richter and IUT campuses. The aim of these interventions is to " get students to think about their behavior, with a focus on prevention issues such as mental health, stress management, diet, nutrition, sexual health, addictions, sports and health, etc." explains Quentin Dudon. Joining the SCMPPS in November 2022, this graduate in public health and medicine is taking up his first position as a prevention doctor working with the specific public of students. " Overall, we know that students are in fairly good physical health, but can be characterized by mental health problems that are sometimes marked, including risky behavior. "

"Young people have changed over the last fifteen or twenty years, and screens in particular have revolutionized their way of life, with an anxiety-provoking and time-consuming dimension that wasn't so present before," says Dominique Makhloufi who, after an initial career in the infectious and tropical diseases department at Montpellier University Hospital, joined the French Ministry of Education in 2002, then the University of Montpellier in 2021. " I love the contact I have with young people, and the listening, caring and responsiveness it requires. I love this pivotal period between when they are high school students and when they become students and start to take charge of their lives ," concludes the prevention nurse.