The new Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedics have gained the necessary expertise to provide first response services in an area which faces a dire skills shortage.
Namibia’s relatively high prevalence of road accidents intensifies the need for ALS paramedics, specifically in the public sector. Whilst organisations such as the National Road Safety Council and the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund are at the forefront of ensuring the safety of citizens on the country’s roads, academic institutions have the responsibility to produce graduates that will provide the essential knowledge, skills and services.
The Head of the Health Sciences Department in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, Nadine Seymour, said the five graduates are already registered with the Health Professions Council of Namibia and employed at E-Med Rescue, MVA Fund, ATA Namibia and LifeLink. “Their career options include employment in urban and rural areas, or in remote locations such as mines. The department is proud to send out these graduates as progression in the pre-hospital field has previously been very limited,” Seymour said.
The three-year degree is a combination of theoretical and practical training that exposes the students to the industry at an early stage. NUST’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme allowed the students to work in various state hospitals and private and public emergency medical services under the supervision of registered healthcare providers. The programme provides holistic training that equips students not only to deal with death and emergencies, but to also offer public education and primary healthcare to the nation.
NUST Faculty Officer, Mercia Richards, expressed her gratitude for the various role players who contributed to the development and growth of these and future graduates.