UAlg Higher School of Health celebrates 20 years

The solemn session of the commemorations takes place on Friday

The Escola Superior de Saúde da Universidade do Algarve celebrates its 20th anniversary, with a week of activities, until this Saturday, June 17th, which will include scientific activities and other events, aimed at the academic community, partners and health professionals.

The solemn commemoration session, entitled “20 years making a difference in the training of health professionals”, takes place on Friday, June 16, at 11:00 am, in the Green Auditorium (building 8), and counts on several institutional partners, representatives of the region's municipalities and other guests.

The closing of the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of ESSUAlg will take place on the 17th, at the Algarve Forum, with a round table that will include the participation of stroke survivors and a caregiver of a person with a stroke, with the aim of empowering the community to the prevention and management of this disease.

In summary, Luís Pedro Ribeiro, director of the Higher School of Health of the University of the Algarve (ESSUAlg), recalls that, «in the first years of life, there was a high expectation, not least because the region needed graduates from ESSUAlg’s training offers to respond to the lack of superior diagnostic and therapeutic technicians».

In fact, he admits, «we have to recognize that the integration of the degree course in Nursing as a training offer at the University of Algarve leveraged the creation of an organic unit in the area of ​​health within the UAlg, with all its experience of more than 30 years training center and its facilities of what would come to be known as campus of health"..

This first phase, he emphasizes, «took place as a period of growth, which resulted in training offers in which the region was most in need».

However, «with the transition from degrees to four years, there was a need to respond to the requalification of professionals in clinical practice».

If this response was given promptly, overcoming the difficulties of human resources and support infrastructures dedicated to the health area, in his opinion «this was only possible with the collaboration of teachers from other Higher Schools of Health and Health institutions from the region, ESSUAlg's partners, as places to host internships/clinical teaching, providing their facilities as clinical simulation rooms. After this period of rapid growth, proportionality in effective teaching staff remained to be monitored».

Despite some difficulties, there are also very positive aspects. Luís Pedro Ribeiro considers that the creation of the Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree in Critical Care in Nursing was the gateway to internationalization.

Subsequently, «we highlight the offer of the master's degree in Management and Assessment of Health Technologies and the postgraduate degree in Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences. Later, the post-graduate course of Specialization in Community Nursing, which has secured four editions in recent years. The opening of the degree course in Physiotherapy, which is in its second year, complements a first cycle offer, vital for the region».

Asked about the contribution of this School to the Health of the region and the Country, the director refers that ESSUAlg's main mission is to train future health professionals, in a vast region, with a resident population that increases very seasonally.

Luís Pedro Ribeiro also mentions that «as it is a tourist region that welcomes citizens from different latitudes throughout the year, in addition to national tourists, the biggest contribution is to guarantee that all those who come to us to enjoy their holidays have a health service with answers, and these have only been possible with ESSUAlg graduates».

Regarding the future, he underlines, «it is expected that a public higher education institution in the health area will have a training offer that meets the health care needs of the population in its area of ​​coverage. With this premise, ESSUAlg has sought to respond with new training offers at undergraduate and postgraduate levels».

Currently, it lists, offers «degrees in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences; Dietetics and Nutrition; Nursing; Pharmacy; Physiotherapy; Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy, and in postgraduate training, masters in partnership, namely, Management and Assessment of Health Technologies; Safety and Health at Work; and Social Gerontology, which will be joined in the next academic year by the Master's in Nursing, in consortium with six other higher education institutions».

According to the director, the importance of this master's degree is reflected in the ability it will have to train specialist nurses in seven different specialties: Community Nursing in the Area of ​​Community Health and Public Health Nursing; Community Nursing in the Area of ​​Family Health Nursing; Rehabilitation Nursing; Child and Pediatric Health Nursing; Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing; Medical-Surgical Nursing in the Area of ​​Nursing for the Person in Critical Situation; and Medical-Surgical Nursing in the Area of ​​Nursing for the Person in Palliative Situation.

Within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), ESSUAlg also provides short and post-graduate training courses for professionals in the region.

Recognizing that there are areas of care in the region where there is a shortage of professionals and that traveling to the Algarve as a way of life is prohibitive, Luís Pedro Ribeiro ensures that ESSUAlg, as the public institution that it is, in the sense of To fill this gap, it is making efforts to resume training offers that it has already offered in the past, such as, for example, the degree course in Speech Therapy, and to launch new ones.