TRAINING AND CAREERS
PathCare Namibia has been training phlebotomists, medical technicians, anatomical/clinical pathology medical technicians and medical technologists since 2003. the only institution in Namibia training phlebotomists and clinical pathology technicians.
A laboratory assistant training course was added to the programme in 2014. PathCare Namibia staff attend numerous courses offered through the Pathcare Academy. All courses are reviewed following an annual assessment of training requirements for the Academy to present.
Training of medical technicians (phlebotomists, clinical as well as anatomical pathology) which are approved courses that are registerable with the Health Professions Council of Namibia, students are sent to the Pathcare Academy in Cape Town, South Africa to get dedicated theoretical and practical training in these fields. Some of their practical training is also carried out at our main laboratory in Windhoek, which is an approved training laboratory for these courses. Intern medical technologists also complete their one year internship at our main reference laboratory in Windhoek following a set guideline and any training they cannot cover at our Windhoek laboratory, is covered at our associate laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa. We pride ourselves on a high level of training as we are an ISO 15189 accredited laboratory.
The PathCare Academy was the first approved training institution in South Africa where phlebotomist medical technicians were trained as this is a relatively new career in the health field in Southern Africa. A phlebotomist is primarily involved with the collection of human blood and other body fluid specimens that meet pre analytical requirements for laboratory testing. We also developed courses for clinical pathology medical technicians and laboratory assistants. A clinical/ anatomical pathology medical technician works in a medical laboratory performing tests on patient samples and a laboratory assistant prepares samples for testing. The Pathcare Academy through its recruitment processes and training has been producing staff with the best attitude as well as the best results of many training facilities year after year.
The Pathcare Academy obtains superb examination results and has a 100% pass rate on the HPCSA Board Examinations for the fourth year in a row! 30 of the 35 candidates achieved distinctions – our highest ratio yet. We are pleased that on our two flagship programmes we have maintained an overall average 94% pass rate over our nine year existence. We have seen over a third of our phlebotomy learners pass with distinction, and we have witnessed an astounding 43% of our Academy laboratory technicians achieve distinctions since commencing our operations in 2006. Furthermore, this year, the top technician candidates nationally in the South African exams in all three disciplines (phlebotomy, clinical pathology and histology) all came from our PathCare Academy. We are naturally very proud of our students’ successes.
Including the above-mentioned programmes, the Academy still offers a variety of full-length programmes (varying in duration from three months to two years): learnerships, certificate programmes, work/study programmes, and internships provide individuals with opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills in professional, technical and support areas of health care. The programmes provide students with a balance of theoretical knowledge gained in classroom situations and practical knowledge gained in real work stations. Qualified professional staff lecture, train and supervise the students throughout the programmes. Students pay no tuition or fees at the Academy, but are rather paid a monthly stipend to work for PathCare under supervision in their chosen field while they learn. The locations from which our students are recruited continue to diversify with a broader footprint each year.
As over 90% of all Academy students have come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, the Academy is also addressing another of its aims, which is to assist the organisation with meeting employment equity targets, and more broadly to provide opportunities to individuals who were historically disadvantaged in our society, as a part of PathCare’s social investment initiatives.