Providing high-quality education for our future nurses

Posted on 4 May 2021

They’re among the first people you see every time you enter a hospital or clinic, charged with tasks like administering medication, checking patients’ blood pressure or explaining how to monitor your daily health.

Nurses, as the South African Nursing Council (SANC) explains on its website, require interpersonal and communication skills as well as “empathy, patience, honesty; and sympathy and compassion”. They also need a great deal of knowledge and theoretical grounding – and that’s where Mediclinic’s higher education and training programmes come in.

Mediclinic Southern Africa has been a registered tertiary education institution for many years. More than 3 000 nurses and paramedics have qualified after studying through the Group’s training centres across South Africa, according to Ann van Zyl, Higher Education and Training Manager: Mediclinic Southern Africa and Avril Stroh, Training and Development General Manager: Mediclinic Southern Africa.

Van Zyl, Stroh, and their teams are preparing to open applications for the 2022 intake of students to Mediclinic’s three-year Diploma in Nursing and one-year Higher Certificate in Nursing programmes, which equip students with a range of skills. Van Zyl says the diploma trains future nurses in “anatomy, psychology, physiology, nursing science, sociology, infection prevention and control principles. They also learn professional practice and management and some midwifery, so they ‘re able to do emergency deliveries and community nursing.”

While theory is critical and a large proportion of the students’ work, the practical element of the programmes is very important, too. Students are placed in Mediclinic facilities while they’re learning, immediately putting their developing skills into practice. This happens under supervision from Mediclinic’s highly qualified educators and learning and development facilitators, Stroh explains.

“Most of our educators have a Master’s degree or higher – these are really specialist nurses and they offer a high quality of training. Our ratio is good, too: we don’t allow more than 20 students to one educator, so students get lots of individual attention,” she says.

“Our educators present the theory and keep in touch with the practice of nursing,” van Zyl adds. “For instance, with COVID-19, educators have worked in our hospitals to assist where they were needed. They’re on the ground, which allows them to integrate theory and practice.”

Each Mediclinic hospital also has an in-house learning and development facilitator to guide students and answer any questions.

Not everyone who completes the Diploma in Nursing will end up working in a hospital or clinic, Stroh says. “Nursing is a very versatile profession. You can go into education, administration, research, clinical work – you can choose to go in many directions.”

Most of Mediclinic’s students stay on to work for the Group when they’ve completed their learning programme and registered with the SANC. In this way they meet their contract requirements, completing years in service to match their years of study – and ensuring their top-notch skills are available to Mediclinic patients.

Mediclinic has six training centres. Two in Gauteng are accredited by the SANC to offer the Diploma in Nursing and Higher Certificate in Nursing. Students from anywhere in the country are welcome to apply but must be able to cover their own living and accommodation costs. The next intake is in January 2022 and applications open on 1 May 2021 on the Mediclinic website.

Applicants must have a Matric certificate, and need to meet the entry requirements for a Diploma or Higher Certificate. They must have studied either maths or maths literacy; life science (biology) or physical science; and English as a first or second language. Computer literacy is also a requirement.


Published in Nursing

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