Training AcademyAddressing the skill shortage in the pathology sector
THE PATHCARE ACADEMY FOR TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
The PathCare Academy was the first centre in South Africa where phlebotomists were trained. We also developed courses for laboratory technicians and laboratory assistants.
An elephant, I have been told, grows its tusks at a slow rate of only some seven inches a year. The tusks grow throughout digging for water and roots; debarking trees and moving branches; clearing pathways; and when fighting to defend. The ivory, while strong, is also soft as calcite, and because deemed precious, elephants need protection from poachers aiming to place their tusks into the hands of the carvers of trinkets.
People are precious; and growth and development comes through hard work, defence of the parade, an acceptance of responsibility, and a gratitude for opportunities and others. Through the interplay of these factors, gems as wondrous as phosphorescent opals can emerge. But, as we know well in South Africa, precious people also need to protect each other from those who would do harm. So, after fourteen years of efforts and experience, the Academy continues to grow its working tusks, and to astonish with the radiance of an opal; yet, it must ever work to protect what is precious within, and to adapt to an ever-shifting environment.
The Academy will continue to succeed as a result of the commitment, hard work, and kind collaboration of the Academy staff, dedicated colleagues in the broader PathCare organisation, and the students and programme participants themselves. As is now perhaps well known, our students on our flagship programmes have maintained an extraordinary 97% pass rate on Health Professions Council exams since opening our doors in 2006, and with over 93% of our students selected from historically disadvantaged communities across the country, we have contributed to developing a South Africa for all who live in it.
The Academy offers a variety of full-length programmes (varying in duration from three months to two years): Learnerships, certificate programmes, work/study programmes, workplace experience 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. Students pay no tuition fees at the Academy, but are rather paid a monthly stipend to work for PathCare under supervision in their chosen field while they learn.
Each year the Academy also revisits and adjusts our programmes and offerings in response to an ever-changing environment with even entirely new programmes regularly introduced. 2019 saw the introduction of our new learnership for debtor’s clerks, as well as new management and leadership programmes detailed in the pages that follow.
Perhaps most importantly, the Academy supports and promotes the PathCare value system: We aim to improve customer service and experience through training; to develop and engender a culture of accountability and responsibility; to value and respect every person who comes to / interacts with us; and to set an example for professional and ethical behaviour. I once again am delighted to commend and thank my colleagues and our students, all the gems who are making the efforts to grow stronger tusks to build a better future at PathCare and for South Africa.
We believe that we can contribute further to a better future at PathCare and for South Africa.
Please find further information on Academy programmes, short courses, and students in the following pages.