The federal state of Lower Austria promotes the academic combined training of paramedics and nurses for preclinical care which has been offered by the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences since 2015.
Leading Role in the Region and among Universities
The federal state of Lower Austria and the St. Pölten UAS play a pioneering role in Austria, as the paramedic training is anchored at a university of applied sciences for the first time.
“In our degree programme, we already prepare students for important new professional fields. The students can either complete the traditional healthcare and nursing training in the form of a study programme and graduate with a bachelor degree and a diploma in healthcare and nursing – or they can undergo the additional further education programme ‘Preclinical Care’, thus becoming experts in this field. We refer to this combined offer as ‘Gesundheits- und KrankenpflegePLUS’ (healthcare and nursing PLUS). The St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences is the only university in Austria to offer this type of training, and the only university of applied sciences which is authorised to train emergency medical technicians (Rettungssanitäter) and emergency paramedics (Notfallsanitäter)”, explains UAS Executive Director Gernot Kohl.
Study Programme and Further Education Programme Combined
The federal state of Lower Austria is going to subsidise this education with approximately 1.6 million EUR over the next four years. The training covers seven semesters and is integrated in the bachelor degree programme “Healthcare and Nursing” which the students complete simultaneously.
Providing Help where It Is Needed
Furthermore, the federal state is due to launch a new pilot project on the topic of “Acute Community Nursing” in Bruck an der Leitha in collaboration with the St. Pölten UAS. This project adds a new field of practical application in the region to the innovative capacity of the further education programme. As so-called “Acute Community Nurses“ they have particular expertise in preclinical treatment and can offer emergency care in the rescue service.
The state of Lower Austria is planning to start this project, which is intended to run for three years, in the region of Bruck an der Leitha. The objective is to treat patients at the “best point of service”, thus relieving the healthcare system. Similar to other emergency operations, the services of Acute Community Nurses are rendered upon calling an emergency number. Acute Community Nurses use specially equipped vehicles to travel from their base to the operation site where they treat patients in accordance with their needs.