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Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) and the Red Cross Medical College that is under RSU supervision share a coordinated study process, a complementary succession of study programmes and shared use of resources. The Director of the College Ināra Upmale is certain that shared values and a strong belief in the disciplines and methods which have been prioritised in medical education strengthen the quality and serve as a precondition for training outstanding professionals.

The role of simulation in the modern study process 

Simulation-based education is among RSU Rector Aigars Pētersons’ priorities. A unified system has been developed at the university regarding pre-clinical simulations, team and process simulations, as well as clinical simulations. The RSU Red Cross Medical College also treats this learning method as essential. There are various simulation rooms such as a ward with patient beds, oxygen gear, heart rate- and breathing monitors and patient simulators providing future nurses and other healthcare professionals with an opportunity to train in various medical procedures and provide first aid in laboratories equipped with mannequins and dummies.

Physician’s assistants have the opportunity to train in fully equipped family physician’s offices, whereas dental nurses can train to perform their duties in a specially equipped room that is close to real-life settings. Recently the college opened a pharmacy classroom providing future pharmacist’s assistants with the opportunity to role-play with clients, to question and consult them and even to print a receipt. The college’s massage classrooms also deserve a mention. Students of the college are welcome to use the resuscitation simulator in the RSU Medical Education Technology Centre highlighting the importance of cooperation in improving the study process.

Research and cooperation

Upmale sees the development of research as a significant task shared by RSU and the Red Cross Medical College. RSU Research Week will be held in early April and a total of 1,250 abstracts have been submitted exceeding submissions last year by 80%! Lecturers from the college will be participating in the Paedagogy and Higher Education Section.

In May the RSU Red Cross Medical College will also host a significant event dedicated to science – International Week. This week will include Research in the Study Process, a Student Research Conference dedicated to Florence Nightingale. Both RSU Red Cross Medical College students and students from other Latvian colleges will participate presenting their most successful research papers. Last year, for example, presentations by students of Riga Technical College and the International College of Cosmetology garnered particular interest. The theme of this year’s International Week is ‘Human vs. Machine’. Local businesses developing technologies to replace human labour are welcome to participate.Programmas turpinājums ir kopējā digitālu projektu izstrādes nedēļa ar nosaukumu Muddie Week, kas no 8. līdz 14. aprīlim notiks Latvijā. Tajā piedalīsies sešdesmit studenti un mācību spēki no Latvijas, Somijas un Igaunijas, kas pārstāv veselības aprūpes, IT vai mākslas dizaina nozari, kā arī dažādu nozaru uzņēmēji. Plānots, ka nometnes ietvaros studenti grupās dažādu nozaru uzņēmumiem piedāvā kādas problēmas digitālu risinājumu. Aizvadītajā gadā līdzīga nometne notika Igaunijā, kuras laikā Latvijas Neatliekamās medicīniskās palīdzības (NMP) vajadzībām tika izstrādāta ideja aplikācijai, ar kuru pacienti varētu novērtēt – nepieciešams izsaukt NMP vai jāizmanto citas ārstniecības iespējas.

The Research Conference organised by the college is international as it will bring together students and lecturers representing various international educational institutions – for example from France, Portugal and other countries. The project ‘Digital Service Development and Information Management in Health and Welfare Services’ implemented by the RSU Red Cross Medical College in cooperation with Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Finland) and Tartu Health Care College (Estonia) deserves to be highlighted as a good example of research and international cooperation. All three educational institutions share joint online courses. 

From 8 to 14 April the RSU Red Cross Medical College will host Muddie Week during which participants will put in a joint effort to develop e-solutions. Sixty healthcare, IT or art and design students and lecturers from Latvia, Finland and Estonia as well as entrepreneurs from various fields will participate during this week. Students will team up with entrepreneurs to develop e-solutions in a certain discipline. A similar event was held last year in Estonia during which the idea for a mobile application for the Latvian State Emergency Medical Service (SMMS) was developed. The application would help patients evaluate whether it is necessary to call SMMS or use other treatment options. 

Similarly as at RSU the college offers a grant for researchers to support the sciences. A study on the impact of massage on emotional well-being deserves to be highlighted as a successful research project.

Shared values

Upmale adds that there are plenty of other examples that testify to a joint vision for the development of both institutions. She is convinced that cooperation, shared values and clear priorities are a precondition for training outstanding medical professionals who, after graduating from the college, can choose between working, pursuing their studies at RSU, or even combining their work with continued studies.

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