EDUCATION. Commissioned education courses increase at Sahlgrenska Academy. A unit with a lot of experience is the Department of Pediatrics. Since 1987, they have commissioned education courses in urotherapy, and last Thursday, 46 new urotherapists completed training.
Last Thursday, on April 14, the latest group of urotherapists graduated from the University of Gothenburg.
“In addition to dissertations and seminars, the week ended with a graduation party that meant that all participants received their course credits and a bedpan around their necks, all in the Nordic colors. This year, we also had a Vietnamese flag, as a nurse from Hanoi has completed the education. We have, namely, a collaboration with the National Hospital of Pediatrics in Hanoi for education and development of a urotherapy operation,” explains Birgitta Lindehall, who, herself, is a PhD urotherapist and course leader for commissioned training in urotherapy.
The past few years, Birgitta Lindehall has run the education together with Gunnel Andersson, who is a PhD urotherapist at Örebro University. Commissioned urotherapy education requires three terms at half time, with a lot of the education being done by distance. Urotherapy concerns diseases and disorders that can affect the bladder and intestines and even one’s sex life. The course provides information on how the urinary tract develops and is formed, how diseases can disrupt the function of the bladder and intestines, and how functional disorders can be treated with such things as habilitation, training, drugs and surgery. The education also addresses the social and psychological difficulties that a dysfunctional bladder or intestine often cause.
An interdisciplinary education
Education is interprofessional for different licensed professional categories within healthcare, such as nurses, physical therapists and doctors.
“All of the students have very different backgrounds with respect to different healthcare professions and the countries they come from, which means that we get a broader illumination of the problem, with discussions from many viewpoints. Another extremely positive effect is that a Nordic network within urotherapy is automatically built up through the education,” says Birgitta Lindehall, and continues,
“One thing that the students do have in common, is that they have a burning desire to help patients who have developed urinary or intestinal tract disorders.
The education is popular, and there are more seeking a place, than there are places. It is a commissioned education, where the employer pays the educational costs of approximately SEK 40,000 per participant.
“We have noticed an increasing interest in urotherapy, as applications to the education are on the rise. Now, we have twice as many applying for the places,” says Birgitta Lindehall.
The University of Gothenburg was the first university in the world to initiate education in urotherapy and now the education has been given every other year, for the past thirty years.
Urotherapy was born in Gothenburg
“Gothenburg has long been at the forefront in regard to research and education in urotherapy and pediatric urology, not to mention adult urology and gynecology. Here, there are specialized clinics for children and adults with urological disorders,” says Birgitta Lindehall, who, together with Professor Anna-Lena Hellström, came up with the basic idea of urotherapy and even realized it.
The initiative of urotherapy in Gothenburg has created a Nordic response, which became the basis of Nordic education in urotherapy for both children and adults.
“Now, there is the Pelvic Floor Center and other centers that focus on both bladder and intestinal dysfunction, in Malmö and Stockholm, which we as urotherapists think is about time,” concludes Birgitta Lindehall.
Today, urotherapy is an international concept that requires university or college education, and the education has now spread from Gothenburg to Bergen in Norway and Bremen in Germany.