The mission of University of Health and Allied Sciences is “to provide quality educational opportunities to students and health care professionals, to advance knowledge through scholarship and research, and to provide patient care and services that improve health and quality of life”. To achieve this mission, the University introduced the Vocational Training as a flagship programme of the University.
The programme takes place during the long vacation for a period of eight weeks, usually from the third to tenth week of the long vacation for Regular students and from the September to December for Sandwich students. Students are posted to health facilities, institutions/industries and communities in the country for hands-on experience of the nation’s health delivery system. They interact with professionals across all levels of the health and allied sciences service delivery system, as well as provide health related support services to the communities where they are posted. The Vocational Training Programme is structured as follows for 4-year degree programmes:
- Year 1 - Observatory phase: to expose students to the health facility, institution/industry, community and the various activities that are undertaken on daily basis. That is, to get students acquainted with the operations of a health facility, institution/industry, community
- Year 2 – Experiential phase: having been exposed in year one, students get directly involved in the operations of the facilities. They start using equipment and appreciate the roles they play in the health service delivery system. At this level, students will be expected to conceptualise research ideas.
- Year 3 – Application phase: With the experience gathered in the previous years, students are given more room to practice the skills and experiences acquired over the period. At this stage, students will be expected to collect related field data for their dissertation. That eventually takes them to graduation in the fourth year and readies them for the job market.
NB: The phases may differ depending on the programme a student is pursuing.
The programme extends beyond the three phases for programmes such as Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB CHB) and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D).
Stakeholder Involvement and Support
The University believes that the concept, nature and duration of the Vocational Training Programme should be explained and shared with all stakeholders (students, faculty, managers and workers of health facilities, institutions/industries and especially communities) and also highlight the complementary role every community is expected to play for it to succeed. This is usually done through advocacy and community entry and mobilisation strategies whose ultimate goal is to mobilise all stakeholders to come on board to support the programme.
The distribution of students and the active participation of faculty across all hosting facilities and communities in the country for the Vocational Training Programme calls for transportation, accommodation, feeding, security, recreation and funds among others. Therefore, the programme requires the involvement of all key stakeholders and professionals identified at accredited health facilities, institutions/industries and communities as well as material resources to sustain and make the programme successful. To this end, the Vocational Training Unit considers all external constituents of the University as partners.