The History and the Present of the School
Nursing staff education in Prostějov is first mentioned in the minutes of the meeting of the municipal committee in 1949. They read information about establishing ‘social schools’ with two branches, namely social-educational and social-medical. Graduates of the social-medical branch would be able to find employment as nurses, children’s nurses, laboratory technicians, midwives and healthcare workers in medical institutions.
The Higher Social-Medical School in Prostějov was opened on 1st September 1949. The first headmistress, Ludmila Kášová, was a vigorous and art-loving person, who founded a school choir. The school received a building after the former Public School for Women’s Professions which has remained its residence up to the present.
In 1951 the school was divided into two branches, social and medical. The medical branch started to educate future nurses. Graduates had to deal with a wide range of medical disciplines such as anatomy, biology, physiology, hygiene, microbiology, pathology, laboratory methods and First Aid. In 1952 the medical branch became an independent nursing school. Both schools, medical and social, remained under a common administration.
The school year 1953/1954 was decisive in the development of nursing education in Prostějov. The Nursing School became completely independent and passed under the administration of the Ministry of Health. Nevertheless, the school did not obtain its own building which caused rather serious problems.
Except the headmistress, Helena Valeriánová, there were only two in-house instructors, nurses with a permission to teach. The staff was completed by ten external teachers and eleven doctors. In three classes the school prepared about ninety students for the profession of children’s nurse. However, there were only five rooms available, a principal’s office, a staffroom and three classrooms. The year 1961, when nuns in hospitals had to be replaced by civil nurses, meant an enormous movement of nursing staff. Nurses were summoned from the whole country but many of them soon left again. The situation was stabilized after the arrival of thirty graduates from the Nursing School in Prostějov. The lack of nursing staff aroused demand for two parallel classes of student nurses.
In 1965 a new headmaster, Ladislav Crhák, replaced the deceased headmistress, Helena Valeriánová. The growing number of students and the increasing requierements on the quality of the nursing staff led to the improvement of the educational process. A number of new classrooms were established, namely a special room for teaching patient care, a foreign language classroom and a classroom for medical subjects. The teaching staff was stabilized as well. The school had five teachers of general-education subjects and five teachers of special training. Special medical subjects were taught by doctors. Girls could specialize as medical or children’s nurses.
In 1975 a new headmaster was appointed. Vladimír Zeman had to face a new task – improving the material conditions so that they met the newest trends. With the help of Prostějov hospital, the school was able to buy new didactic equipment and reconstruct the classrooms. In the 1980s the school gained two floors of the building where it was based and a new boarding house. The students also started to participate in sports activities. They achieved excellent results in swimming contests. Competitions in First Aid with active participation of hospital workers became tradition in this period. The school supplied qualified nurses for several regions which did not have their own medical schools.
In November 1989 the totaliatarian system in Czechoslovakia was overthrown. All schools held competitions for new head teachers. The new headmistress of the Nursing School in Prostějov, Milada Sobotková, managed to gain financial resources to buy new teaching aids and renew both the specialized and ordinary classrooms as well as the corridors. A new IT classroom was built up as well. The school held excursions to both Czech and foreign healthcare institutions.
The two branches, medical nurse and children’s nurse, were unified into a single study field – general nurse. It was possible to attend either a four-year course for basic school-leavers or a two-year course for secondary school-leavers. Last but not least, there was a one-year post-secondary course for intensive care nurses. Its graduates had extensive employment opportunities is many hospitals of nearby regions.
The current head teacher, Mgr. Ivana Hemerková, has been performing the function since 1997. The teaching staff is made up of fifteen teachers of special subjects and nine teachers of general-education subjects. There are two parallel classes in each of the study years. Each class has about thirty students. The current study branch is called ‘Healthcare Assistant’. It is a four-year course completed by the secondary school-leaving exam.
The school has twelve modern classrooms the equipment of which is continuously updated. There are three special classrooms for training purposes which partly serve as schoolrooms and partly simulate hospital rooms and nurse’s rooms. There is also a classroom for psychology and pedagogy lessons with a special layout suitable for group work and relaxation. Modern equipment also involves TV sets and videorecorders, DVD recorders, static and portable dataprojectors. Computers are now commonplace in teachers’ rooms and a classroom for ICT lessons. All the computers have access to the Internet. The classrooms are furnished with modern furniture and equipped with posters, models, diagrams and graphs. Students and teachers may use a general and special library and study room. Foreign language lessons take place in a specialized language classroom. There is a wide range of teaching aids for nursing such as resuscitation models, a childcare model, an infusion pump, models for practising catheterization, blood taking, application of injections etc.
The school closely cooperates with Prostějov Hospital where the students receive their hospital training. Nursing officers and sisters from Prostějov Hospital also take part in the school’s leaving exams as well as numerous social events and ceremonial occasions.