Nursing in Hospitals and Institutions

Engagement and support

School for disabled

The School for learners with physical disabilities opened in January 1980. It was housed in a small cottage in Rondebosch and had 11 learners. Two moves and several students later, the school is housed in custom built premises in Montana, 30 minutes drive from the city centre. There are currently about 300 students on the register and they represent 24 disability groups eg. Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Lesions, Muscular Dystrophies, Congenital and Traumatic amputations, Arthritis and Cerebral Palsy. Around 45 of those students stay at the hostel after school hours.Learners admitted to the school are physically disabled, but educable. Consideration is given to applicants’ ability to cope in a mainstream setting and their need for the therapeutic services. The school is proactive about mainstreaming and learners are placed back in the mainstream once their rehabilitation has been completed.

Work Description
Nursing students will work in general health promotion in the school. As the children’s education is aimed at a mainstream setting, the learners need to be given life skills to live and earn in a normal society. Most of them come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds with a dire need for health education in sexuality, health promotion, puberty awareness and hygiene. Nursing students can focus on setting up work shops in these areas and using educational tools adapted to learners with disabilities and focusing on subjects such as First Aid, Life Skills, Infection control and hygiene aimed at disease spreading and a healthy living lifestyle.


The Institution is a home that provides specialised care for profoundly intellectually and disabled people. The institution accommodated 90 residents. These children need specialised care every minute of their lives. Each child’s potential is explored and developed to fulfil their maximum potential in a stimulating environment. By caring for these residents, The institution also provides help and relief to parents and siblings, allowing them to lead more normal lives. The Institution also serves to promote public awareness of their situation, in partnership with families, communities and other role-players, supported by dedicated and motivated staff. Disabled children need a great deal of physical and mental stimulation and they like to play. This is done with water play, playing with blocks, playing music and singing. Each child also has a development programme. Simple things like picking up a spoon are a major achievement for these children. Physiotherapy and physical development is very important to exercise and strengthen muscles and is achieved through stretching exercises and using apparatus such as the standing frame. Institution's services also provide the base from which students, medical practitioners etc. undertake learning into various aspects of Institution's work, in an effort to improve the work and to understand more about the profoundly intellectually disabled person and his/her needs.

Volunteer | Intern work description
The institution take on students who are dedicated to helping disabled children and those in need and would like to make a difference in individuals’ lives. They take on interns and volunteers in the field of Health, Nursing, Medical Assistants, Social Work, Business Administration, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, Marketing/Fundraising. Nursing students will work closely with the nursing and care giver staff. You will assist in making referrals for patients and writing up reports for these referrals and making the various appointments for the patients with hospitals and other health care practitioners. A large part of your work will involve working with the care workers, there are 60 care workers in total, and 5 staff nurses and you will be involved in the training and assessment of the care workers and making recommendations on their care giving techniques and providing of a performance analysis. This will be related to monitoring and assessments of nursing care, hygiene care, feeding procedures, bathing procedures and general health and wellbeing of the 90 physically and mentally disabled citizens at the Institution.
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