The College of Applied Health Sciences in Ćuprija was founded in 1998 as a Medical College with three majors: Senior Nurse Technician, Senior Physiotherapist and Senior Radiologist. In the period from 2007 to 2017, the school enrolled students to the accredited study programme of basic vocational studies Professional Beautician & aesthetician, and from 2012 to 2016, to accredited study programmes of specialist vocational studies: Professional Nurse – specialist – field: gerontology, Specialist Professional Nurse – field: clinical practice, Specialist Professional Nurse – field: public health area, Specialist Professional Nurse – midwife – field: nursing in gynecology, and Specialist Professional Physiotherapist – field: rehabilitation of neurological patients.
Today, the CAHS Ćuprija is the leading internationally accredited school for medical nurses and other health care professionals with a 20-year-long tradition. In this, jubilee year, when the school is celebrating its 20th anniversary, we have talked to MA Zorana Jurinjak, the school’s International Cooperation Coordinator.
What benefits do the College of Applied Health Sciences and its students have from the European Nursing Module (ENM) membership?
— The European Nursing Module is an association that brings together institutions from different European countries that educate nurses. In March 2007, the official delegation of our school attended the annual ENM Convention in Portugal where we were officially accepted as a member. The main characteristic of this organization is the international exchange of nurses which provides students with the opportunity to improve their knowledge in the member schools, as well as provide accommodation for some of the students. In 2011, our school hosted a conference attended by the representatives of more than twenty European schools. The benefits of exchange and the cooperation with similar schools are multiple. It is important to conclude bilateral agreements, such as the cooperation agreement that our school has with the Sor-Trondelag University College Nursing School from Trondheim in Norway, which stipulates specialist studies for staff that work at senior citizens’ homes, primarily because of the development of intercultural competencies of both students and teachers, .
Which other international institutions are you cooperating with?
— As a member of the COHEHRE consortium of health care and rehabilitation higher education institutions, which has headquarters in Denmark, the CAHS Ćuprija has established bilateral cooperation with the Nursing College from Celje, Slovenia. Under the framework of ERASMUS, we have participated in the exchange of professors for a period of one year. We are also a partner in a Tempus IV project with the schools that are academy members – i.e. the academies from Belgium, Norway and Portugal, EACEA-517200. In September 2018, we signed a contract with the Association of Medical Nurses, Midwives and Technicians of Russia in Sankt Petersburg, and in December, with the Red Cross from Bonn, Germany. Thanks to a developed international cooperation, we are continuously working on improving our research and expert work, while the research results are implemented in the teaching process. We are also proud of the international projects that we have implemented, and which results have been directly incorporated into the accreditation of new specializations. As an example, I would like to mention a project that we did with the aforementioned school from Trondheim in Norway called “Specialization in Gerontology and Care for the Elderly”, which has 60 ECTS credits according to their curriculum and programme, and which has been adapted to our conditions.
How much does the curriculum and requirements that your students have to face have changed as a result of medical development?
— We are continuously working on improving our expert and research work, we encourage teachers and students, and strive to provide the best possible conditions and to incorporate the research results into the teaching process. In terms of equipment and teaching aids, we are trying not to lag behind global trends. We can boast new cabinets and multimedia classrooms, and as of recently, a server room with an optical link so that students can master the IZIS programme. Recently, we have built a simulation centre, the first of its kind in the region. Mannequins Juno and Chloe help students to familiarize themselves with real-life situations through various health care scenarios.
Ten years ago, you embarked on a project of complying with the acquired professional title. How mobile are your students in terms of their knowledge and diplomas being recognized abroad?
— In 2008, the College of Applied Health Sciences in Ćuprija started implementing the project „Compliance with Acquired Professional Title“during which students, who had graduated from the Medical College and have fulfilled certain obligations, can obtain 180ESPB and the legality of obtaining higher education for health care workers for which the College of Applied Health Sciences in Ćuprija has accredited programmes. In order to additionally train nurses and other health care workers with high school, college or university degrees, our school provides continuous education in the form of one-day courses, which are accredited by the Health Council of Serbia. In the period from 2011 to 2016, the school accredited 27 continuous education programmes.
Tell us something about your staff and what accredited programmes do you offer? How compliant are these programmes with the international ones?
— The school has highly professional teaching staff in the ranks of academics, doctors of science, Master’s graduates and specialists, who work regularly at school as well, as well as eminent teachers from other schools, faculties and the Military Medical Academy. At the moment, the CAHS Ćuprija is enrolling students in five accredited study programmes of basic vocational studies: Professional Nurse, Professional Physiotherapist, Professional Medical Radiologist, Professional Midwife and Professional Pharmacist. We are currently undergoing accrediation for our Master’s studies, that will last two years. They bring 120 ESPB points and once our students finish their Master’s studies, they obtain the title of the nurse-organizer in the health care system. We also have a series of short study programmes that last two semesters in the segment of anesthesia and reanimation, domicilary care, rehabilitation, dermatological cosmetology and interventional radiology.
What other educational resources are at the disposal to your students?
— In addition to textbooks, our school also publishes two specialist magazines. The first is “Zdravstveni Radnik” (“Health Care Worker”), which is founded and published by the CAHS Ćuprija. This is a specialist magazine which aim is to publish scientific papers which contribute to the quality of work in all study groups at our school, as well as to inform students and professors about novelties in scientific and other achievements relative to health care workers. In 2018, our school co-launched a specialized medical magazine called PONS in cooperation with the Pomoravlje Public Health Institute from Ćuprija. At the school’s premises, our students can use a library where they can use KOBSON and the Internet, reading rooms, the script book, the multimedia classroom and the pharmacy block with galenic pharmacy and and chemical laboratory.
Where do your students carry out their practice and where do they usually find employment?
— They usually have their practice teaching bases such as: General Hospital Ćuprija, KBC in Belgrade, VMA (Military Medical Academy), Ćuprija Health Centre, Ćuprija Public Health Institute and numerous spa and wellness centres in Serbia, including the Sokobanja Special Hospital, Gamzigradska Spa, Vrnjačka Spa, Ribarska Spa, Niška Spa, etc. Our students usually find employment in the aforementioned teaching bases. However, quite a few of them are working abroad.
What values are you promoting and nurturing in your students?
— Apart from the traditional educational values that teachers instil in their students, we also remind them of the humane and moral values they have to have as caregivers, as well as the patient confidentiality they are obligated to keep. We also strive to raise awareness that their future profession is one of the noblest and most responsible professions around and, accordingly, that they develop a relation with their future vocation.
We want to increase and enrich our knowledge fund, promote high ethical moral values in doing business, and promote accountability to employees and the community.