The MScMedSc (Underwater Medicine) degree programme
This programme is a research-based Master's Degree. The candidate can take the initial research project for the BScMedScHons degree further to the level of a Masters’ degree, or do a completely different research project. The research project should be analytical in design. This serves to further the field of Underwater Medicine academically as well as answering some of the important questions we still have.
Please note that the MScMedSc qualification has not yet been approved by the Department of Education and the process is still ongoing.
Articulation with other programmes
The Research Methodology module can be used for any other research-related programmes/ projects. This module, as well as some components of the introductory work during the first module is shared with the BScMedScHons (Hyperbaric Medicine) programme. The last-mentioned course focuses purely on the evidence-based treatment of medical and surgical conditions with hyperbaric oxygen. See http://www.hyperbaricmedicine.co.za for more details.
Some candidates may require refresher training (e.g. every four years for Designated Medical Examiners of divers according to the South African Diving Regulations). Refresher courses are in place for all modules. Students may need to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning if the initial training (to be refreshed) was not received at the University of Stellenbosch.
Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL)
Grandfathering and RPL is done as follows:
You need to contact the Programme Coordinator, Dr Jack Meintjes (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will direct you through the process. The application needs to be forwarded to the Secretary of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch (Mr Johan Coetzer). He will forward the relevant documentation to the department, who will consider the candidate's prior training.
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The BScMedScHons (Underwater Medicine) degree programme
This programme is presented over a 2-year period for part-time students and over a 1-year period for full-time students. Successful completion of the degree programme enables you to register diving medicine with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as an additional qualification (like one would do with a diploma in anaesthetics). The entry requirement for the course is the MB, ChB (or equivalent) degree. For the purposes of practical training the candidate also needs to have a certificate of fitness for hyperbaric exposures.
The course consists of different modules, each of which you are able to do separately. Some modules, however, require previous modules as entry level.
Practical training (where applicable) will take place in Cape Town or Durban, depending on the availability of instructors and practical training facilities at the time. We envisage that various institutions around the world would be accredited in the coming years and the contact time (thus the whole course) may be decentralized at a later stage.
The following modules are presented in the programme
1. Basic Underwater Medicine:
This module has a distance training element, as well as contact time of four days. Practical training in the techniques of examining divers will also form part of this module. Contact sessions are often scheduled over a weekend, to ensure that General Practitioners are not influenced in their practice unnecessary.
The exit outcome for this module is equivalent to the European Diving Technology Committee (EDTC) level 1, which is a diving medical examiner. It is accredited with various international institutions and successful candidates will be able to practice diving medicine in various countries - provided that they are able to register in the country as a medical practitioner.
Practitioners registered in South Africa are able to register with the Department of Labour as a Designated Medical Practitioner (as an examiner of commercial divers).
2. Operational Underwater Medicine:
This modules outcome is equivalent to the EDTC level IIa (competence in diving medicine), which is a person that could work for a diving company and is employing detailed underwater medicine knowledge. This course will again have a distance training element, contact time and more practical training. Training in hyperbaric chambers and their application in the treatment of divers is thoroughly addressed, including saturation diving. The person could thus render operational diving medical backup to any company or group of divers. This module is also accredited internationally.
3. Advanced Underwater Medicine:
This module takes it to the next level. Complicated medical issues regarding the underwater environment are addressed and the cutting-edge research issues are put on the table. The candidate completing this module will have expert knowledge in the field of Underwater Medicine and can act as a consultant. The unexplained underwater issues can then be further addressed in research projects. The candidate gets an introduction to research methodology in the next module.
Note: This module is NOT equivalent to the EDTC level III person. We do not cover the Hyperbaric Medicine components in detail. These are addressed in the BScMedScHons (Hyperbaric Medicine) programme.
4. Research Methodology:
This module serves to introduce the candidate to basic research methodology (Epidemiology and Biostatistics). The person would be able to critically appraise any research documents that they read and they will practice the basic research methodology by presenting a small research project (The purpose is to show mastering of the basic research methodology and not necessarily the answering of a specific research question for this purpose the candidates are advised to limit their project to a descriptive study, rather than analytic).
All of the policies and procedures regarding RPL will be forwarded to candidates upon request.
Dr WAJ (Jack) Meintjes
Tel: +27 21 938 9272
Fax: +27 21 938 9166
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Postgraduate Diploma in Infection Control (PGDIPIC)
Admission and Selection requirements
For admission to the Post graduate Diploma in Infection control a student must be in possession of an MB, ChB degree or a BSc or MSc degree in Microbiology or a BSc or MSc degree in Social Sciences or Behavioural Psychology from this University or the equivalent. Qualifying for Recognition of Prior Learning in Infection Control and Epidemiology, based o evaluation by the panel of tutors.
Duration of Course
There will be a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years to complete the course.
Course content for the Postgraduate Diploma in Infection Control
Introduction to Microbiology
Introduction, bacterial anatomy, micro-organisms spread of micro-organisms, host and their infection and the spread of micro-organisms, host defense mechanisms, role of laboratory in Infection Control, anti-infective therapy, bacterial diseases, Virology.
Basics of Sterilization and Disinfection
Cleaning of items, Basic – What to use and when, Autoclave, Ethylene oxide, New systems, Disinfectants.
Risk management and Safe Practice
Aseptic procedure, standard and transmission-based precautions, protective clothing, evaluation and cost-effective use of IC products
Surveillance, Epidemiology and Research Methodology
Surveillance for hospitals and nosocomial infection, giving evidence-based information. Basic tools of Epidemiology, Research designs used in investigations, screening and surveillance sampling, bias in research design, Epidemiology of infective disease (outbreaks), Ethics of Epidemiological research, basic Statistics.
Role of IPC hospital design and management
Management structure, legislation governing IC, Health and Safety and Occupational Health, Financial support, Health economics, Support surveillance and record keeping.
Ms Y Gouws (Course Administrator)
Tel: +27 21 938 5619
Fax: +27 21 938 5065
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Short courses offered by the Unit for Infection Prevention and Control
Basic Sterile Services Course (certificate of competence)
Intermediate Course in Sterile Services (certificate of competence)
Advanced Course in Sterile Services (Diploma in Sterile Management)
Proof of having passed a foundation course in Sterile Services with a grade 10 certificate or equivalent. Must have at least 2 years experience in an Sterile Service Department. Each student will need to have a member of staff appointed as a mentor/supervisor to assist with evaluation and completion of a practical experience logbook over 5 weeks.
Prof S Mehtar (Programme Coordinator)
Head: Unit for Infection Prevention and Control
Tel: +27 21 938 5051/3/4/6/7
Fax: +27 21 938 5065
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