EDUCATION. As part of the inquiry into the specialist nursing program being conducted by commission of the government, Special Inquirer Kenth Nauclér and his colleagues are making site visits at some selected higher education institutions. For two days last week, Sahlgrenska Academy was visited, and the inquiry team was impressed by the good collaboration between higher education institutions and the health care system in the region.
The visit to Sahlgrenska Academy by the delegation working on the inquiry into specialist nursing education and certain other health care education programs (U2017:08) took place on March 6-7. The inquiry will lead to proposals on how future education will meet the changing needs in health care and provide students with the knowledge and ability required to work independently as a specialist nurse. The inquiry will also review issues related to certain other health care education programs.
The University of Gothenburg is one of three higher education institutions arranging site visits for the inquiry. The visitors were Special Inquirer Kenth Nauclér, Secretary General Malin Bolinder, and Inquiry Secretary Margitta Fröberg.
“It’s expected that the inquiry will be crucial for the requirements of the affected courses in the future, and we saw this as an opportunity to share good examples but also to describe the obstacles and opportunities for planning, design and collaboration with the health care system in terms of the midwife program and specialist training,” says Carina Sparud Lundin, deputy head of the Institute of Health and Care Sciences.
Diversity of education
The visitors first received a comprehensive presentation of the institute’s courses and programs and their status, including the large offering of courses at both the undergraduate and master’s level, and a description of the increase in places in education programs that has occurred in recent years. The description included the diversity of different specializations that exist within the specialist nursing program, including 12 different specializations with different arrangements and unique requirements, where some courses are full-time and others are half-time.
“Proximity to highly specialized care, combined employments, adjunct teachers and the high academic level of the teaching staff gives us a good opportunity to offer complete academic environments, and the good examples we could give of collaboration with health care in the region was regarded as a favorable environment for both specialist training and the midwife program,” says Carina.
The visitors also got to make a field trip to the Clinical Skills Training Center (KTC), where various scenarios relevant for intensive care and surgical specializations were demonstrated. In addition, they got to see a simulated childbirth, a feature that was much appreciated.
Strategic competence management
The first day ended with a field trip to the surgeons’ clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, where Care Unit Head Lena Hagelqvist, who is also an adjunct to the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, shared how they work strategically with competence management issues when it comes to specially trained nurses. During the visit, the organization of internships (VFU) also was discussed with directors of studies and faculty program directors from Stockholm University (SU), primary care and the municipality of Gothenburg as well as the VFU coordinator at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences. Among other things, attention was given to requirements for planning and design of VFU internships.
“Several suggested solutions for enabling and ensuring the quality of VFU – such as peer learning and the student ward in operation – were cited as a good example,” Carina relates. “The discussion also dealt with the need for better collaboration between higher education institutions and operations before new courses start and coordination with VFU for undergraduate students.”
During the discussions it emerged that the special inquirer believes the educational assignments of the university hospital in general may need to be clarified. The supervisor model as part of the collaboration agreement was presented, and the important role that this plays in supervision during internship was discussed.
Obstacles and opportunities
The second day of the visit began with a description by Gunilla Length Persson, from Region Västra Götaland’s office, of how the region is working on talent management and staff development strategy and career programs as well as the short-term and long-term need for midwives and specialist training. There was discussion of various obstacles and opportunities for collaboration among the health care services and higher education institutions with regard to education based on the needs of the health care system. One obstacle to the effective use of the region’s investment in education positions that was cited was the current admissions system, which impedes the planning and design of training places and thus counteracts the effective use of resources.
“Our institution also gave a presentation on how we interact with the health care system by establishment of assignment courses and new specializations based on health care needs. The course ‘Vård i Hybridsal’ (Care in a Hybrid Ward) is a good example of collaborative projects in the hybrid and intervention area at SU. Another example is the recent establishment of specialization focused on heart disease care that starts in the fall of 2018,” says Carina.
Requirements for specialist training and midwife training now and in the future also were discussed, as well as the demand for an advanced level of education within the radiographer’s sphere of activity.
“The visitors were very satisfied with the valuable input they received in their work with the inquiry, thanks to good examples of collaboration but also the obstacles we see to effective planning and design of programs in relation to health care needs,” Carina says. She continues:
“We also were exhorted to have reasonable expectations for the inquiry’s proposals and their impact. Several parallel inquiries are being taken into consideration, all of which need to allow for future needs and circumstances. But in the spirit of good collaboration, we have done as much as we could as things now stand to take part and influence the conditions for specialist nurses and midwives of the future.”
The inquiry will be completed no later than November 1, 2018.
You can read more about the ongoing work on the inquiry into specialist nursing education and certain other health care education programs (U2017:08) here: http://www.sou.gov.se/utredningen-om-specialistsjukskoterskeutbildning-och-vissa-andra-halso-och-sjukvardsutbildningar-u-201708
TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY: ELIN LINDSTRÖM CLAESSEN