Care is a Calling
Posted on 12 May 2022
The Mediclinic Private Higher Education and Training Institution provides world-class nursing training, leading to the development of dedicated, passionate nurses delivering excellent patient care.
Compassion, stamina and dedication are characteristics that make an exceptional nurse. Such exceptional nurses are trained at Mediclinic Southern Africa. We became a registered training institution 20 years ago in order to address a shortage of qualified nurses across the country.
As Dr Ann van Zyl, Higher Education and Training Manager: Mediclinic Southern Africa explains, this initiative also serves to provide nursing opportunities for everyone, including people from disadvantaged areas who may find higher education difficult to access. There are currently four Mediclinic learning centres across the country, offering the new nursing programmes – Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Sandton and Limpopo – with Nelspruit starting as soon as educators have been appointed.
Programmes offered are Mediclinic’s Higher Certificate in Nursing (one year) and the Diploma in Nursing (three years). “The learning programmes lead to a qualification that is registered on the National Qualification Framework,” Dr van Zyl explains. “Each programme comprises various modules and students have to pass a three-hour exam on each module before being registered for the next academic year or to finally graduate. The programmes are presented as contact-sessions, although offered online during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Once students completed the full programme, they register with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) as a registered general or auxiliary nurse. Registered nurses, with a qualification on an NQF level 7 or 8, can specialise in many different areas, such as critical care nursing, peri-operative nursing, emergency care nursing, child nursing and midwifery.
Most Mediclinic graduates are employed by Mediclinic, making sure their top-notch skills are available to our patients. A wide range of in-service training courses are available that don’t lead to registered qualifications but do provide clinical skills. Since 2000, more than
9000 nursing students have qualified through the Mediclinic training system. According to December 2018 figures, 70 percent of the nurses trained through Mediclinic since 2001 still work within the company.
“All our learning programmes are currently subsidised,” Dr van Zyl adds. “Students don’t pay for tuition, textbooks or uniforms and get a monthly allowance while they are studying. Once they have qualified, they need to work a year for each year of study at a Mediclinic hospital. These subsidies make the training accessible for students who meet the intake requirements.”
Prospective students must have passed Grade 12, with a higher certificate or diploma endorsement that meets specific criteria. “Applicants undergo psychometric testing and interviews are conducted as part of the selection process,” Dr van Zyl says. “Care is a calling and a passion – nurses need to be able to provide a safe, caring environment for patients of every age, race, gender and culture. Most importantly, they need to have an inherent love for caring for people as relationships with patients can be challenging when they are confused, anxious or in pain. We can teach students how to do certain procedures and to work with people, but they must have an inherent passion for patient care.
“Our mission is to deliver measurable, quality training outcomes, governed by sound educational principles, evidence-based practice and compliant to legislation. We also aim to contribute to the development of skills relevant to healthcare service delivery nationally.”