India has about 460 medical colleges but it needed to have more medical colleges with state-of-the-art infrastructure. Private medical colleges are coming up in large numbers but the need of quality medical colleges with advanced infrastructure is yet to be addressed adequately. Additionally, the procedure to open a medical college is highly regulated. J.P. Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, recently stated, “Around 58 medical colleges would be started in India by 2018 and the projects would be worth Rs. 11,000 crore.”
In the case of nursing, there are about 1800 colleges present that focus on nursing courses. Out of the total count, only 135 are government run institutions. There is need to develop better equipped nursing colleges as well.
Requirements for starting a medical college or a nursing college:
There are various norms and rules created by the Medical Council of India (MCI) for initiating new medical colleges.
l A state government, a union territory, a university, an autonomous body under the state or central government, a society that is registered under “Societies Registration Act (1860) and certain public charitable trusts are eligible to apply for opening up a medical college.
l The minimum requirement of land area for the medical college is 20 acres which was earlier 25 acres in India. Although the minimum requirement of land in metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai have been further relaxed to 10 acres only.
l A survey is also mandatory for the inspection of infrastructure, medical and scientific supplies required for the students. Additionally, a schedule that estimates the requirement for an overall academic year is also needed. The technical, administrative and ancillary staff is also evaluated along with the recruitment procedure.
Once someone is eligible for opening a new college, they can always collect the necessary forms and then submit them to the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Nirman Bhavan, New Delhi. The application fee is Rs.3.5 lakh and is not refundable. The application is then sent for evaluation after which the confirmation is given.
Process of accreditation:
There are numerous colleges that have come up in recent years who are teaching MBBS courses. It is essential to understand that the accreditation process is very lengthy and one cannot simply attain it. However, the need to verify the accreditation of mushrooming medical colleges is getting real. Getting affiliation is not the same of obtaining accreditation. There are certain steps for attaining the accreditation for a medical college:
l Examination and Preparation: The area or the land on which the college would be built is very important for attaining accreditations. The area must be suitable for carrying out such a big project and should be prepared keeping in mind the future developments. The second examination would be about the qualities of the college and how it is establishing itself in near future.
l Standard of Education and Faculty: The quality of faculty and the education provided is important for getting accreditation. The colleges generally appoint the faculty keeping in mind the rules of MCI and thereby maintain a uniform standard.
l Supply of Equipment and Infrastructure: Infrastructure is very essential in getting accreditation. One must focus on the requirement for every single course that is to be taught in the college and keep the equipment handy.
Qualities of a faculty member in medical colleges:
The structure of quality education and how it is imparted to the students is a very important journey. The teachers are responsible when it comes to dealing with subjects theoretically and practically. Colleges generally have a structure for selecting their faculty but at times, they miss the mark. The faculty is generally appointed by the admission committee which judges them on the basis of different categories. The desired qualities of a good faculty member are:
l The faculty member should understand the value of each student and nourish them as they are going to be the future of the medical fraternity of the country.
l They should have proper understanding of the medicine concerned with their specified field and practise it as well for a better outlook while teaching the students. They should know the ethics of medical studies and should abide by them.
l They should be experienced. A practising doctor can state real life instances apart imparting theoretical knowledge. Abhishek Ghosh, a MBBS student from Mahirishi Markandeshwar University (MMU) told BE, “It is of course better for a doctor or practicing faculty to teach the subjects because they have better in depth knowledge about the subject and have practical experience as well.”
Recently, a survey said that 14 colleges have reportedly showed the presence of ghost faculties which meant that they did not have the faculty required according to the MCI guidelines. The ghost faculty is demeaning feature for any medical college and is against the ethics of MCI and merits cancellation of accreditation. Institutes practising this expose their students to great risks as they risk cancellation of accreditation which would in turn discredit their students by inviting cancellation of their degrees.
Abhishek added, “One should always verify the accreditation of the colleges and if something doesn’t come out clear they should take a step back. After completing a five and half year course one should be ready to be presented as a doctor but their degree would be of no value if the college looses its accreditation or isn’t accredited. So, it is better to be careful than to waste time and put hard work in vain.”
Employment rates of doctors:
A doctor hardly remains unemployed as they can always open their own chamber and start their own practice if they do not find suitable employment. Although, getting a proper license for continuing the profession is a hard task. Generally doctors tend to start with an organisation and then move towards building their own practice.
Nursing as a profession:
Nursing is integrally related care giving and is one of the most valued professions in our country. Many people are opting for this profession since they want to serve people and earn respect. The profession is highly employable (provided they receive proper training and industry exposure) as there is an immense shortage of nurses in the country since there is not enough institutions teaching nursing. A lot of patience, hard work and dedication are required for pursuing this career.
Employment from Enrollment:
Every year, thousands of students are enrolled under in nursing courses but still the employment rates are low. Although the shortage rate of nurses has decreased, it is still showing a shortage of around 1.94 million nurses in India. The shortage is more prominent in rural areas. There have been colleges that are shutting down because of low enrollment rates but there are also colleges that are not able to place the nurses even after they graduate. Many of the colleges imparting nursing training fail to make their graduates employable. But if proper inputs are given, a staff nurse earns more than Rs.200000 per year and the remunerative structure improves with experience and proficiency. There is an urgent need to upgrade the nursing colleges to enhance employability of nurses. Recruiting better faculty and improving infrastructure can improve the situation.
Qualities of a nurse instructor:
There are certain qualities that create a good nurse educator or instructor. One should maintain these qualities in order to impart proper knowledge to the nursing students:
l Patient: A nurse educator has to be patient enough to listen to the problems of their students. This also shows that when they are practicing, they value the problems of their patients as well since that is a very important trait of a nurse. Dedication towards their students for teaching them the best is essential.
l Adapting: Being able to adapt to a situation teaches us a lot and thus it is important for an educator to learn the same. This implies further that the nurse educator would be able to site examples while teaching the students about solving certain problems.
l Communication skills: One has to have proper communication skills in order to communicate with the students and help them in their learning process. If a nurse is not trained properly to speak and discuss the issues then they cannot be expected to understand the patients either.
l Skill training: Even after the nurses have completed their respective courses and are moving towards the industry, they should constantly be updating their skills. This will not only build their set of skills but also help them in helping other nurses in the same profession.