Care is a calling

Posted on 3 May 2022

This International Nurses Day, we examine Mediclinic’s large-scale national higher education initiative that makes Mediclinic nurses known for their selfless devotion to duty.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, nurses are mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. But compassion, stamina and dedication are not qualities that keep working hours. Despite extremely challenging conditions over the past two years, our nurses are still 100% dedicated to providing exceptional clinical and emotional care.

Mediclinic acknowledges that nurses form the backbone of the healthcare industry – and that high-quality training is essential in order to provide this exceptional care. By the late 1990s, there was a severe shortage of professional nurses. With permission from the Nursing Council of South Africa, Mediclinic piloted a training programme to provide the healthcare industry with much-needed qualified Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses.

Since then, this small pilot project (that began with 50 students) has grown into a large-scale national higher education initiative that educates more than 1 000 nurses every year.

Courses are available country-wide which is particularly useful in outlying areas, where there are no universities or colleges in the immediate vicinity. To ensure Mediclinic trains only the best of the best, prospective students undergo psychometric tests to ensure they have the correct temperament and personality for nursing care, over and above the minimum required matric results.

Importantly, although Mediclinic is not the only private healthcare or hospital group investing in training, it is the only one that is offering educational programmes for free. Students pay only for their prescribed textbooks and receive a monthly stipend while they are studying. Mediclinic also offers employment to successful graduates, who then don’t pay for their uniforms.

Apart from providing baseline nursing training and qualifications for undergraduates, Mediclinic also places a strong emphasis on encouraging all employees to continue learning throughout their careers. It offers specialisation courses for our nurses who want to train in a specific field such as neonatal care, paediatrics or oncology. There are also a host of refresher courses for nurses who are returning to work after an absence, with an emphasis on practical, hands-on experience.

The success of these training programmes lies in Mediclinic’s focus on developing sound relationships with industry and educational bodies such as the South African Nursing Council, the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the Council on Higher Education, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the South African Qualifications Authority and the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA).

Published in Nursing

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