The formation of medical education in Rivne has passed a difficult and often even tragic and heroic path. The foundations for the future college, and later the medical academy, were laid by “School of medical assistants” and “School of nurses”, organized by the Soviet authorities immediately after Rivne region joined the USSR in 1939, but the war made its brutal adjustments to the students studying.
The catastrophic lack of medical personnel in Volyn, as well as the efforts of the Wehrmacht command (German armed forces) to enlist the support of the local population, allowed the teaching staff of medical institutions of Rivne to develop a program of education and upbringing of schoolgirls, which provided the training of a nurse - a universal one, who would not only be able to do their job, but often replace a doctor, midwife, hygienist, and if necessary - to defend the Fatherland. Therefore, in the curriculum, along with medical disciplines, special attention was paid to Ukrainian studies subjects. This training gave qualifications: nurse, midwife and hygienist. At that difficult time, Kharytia Kononenko, the organizational officer of the Red Cross in Rivne, provided great assistance to the school of nurses. She looked for teachers, organized a free canteen and dormitory for the school's poorest students.
However, in 1942 the ideological structures of Nazi Germany began to establish a new order on Ukrainian soil. In the spring, almost all educational institutions in Rivne were closed. The school of medical assistants ceased to exist. Danger also loomed over “School of nurses”, whose students were saved only by a growing number of wounded German soldiers and a shortage of staff in hospitals. The constant control by the Gestapo and the daily threat of arrest and death did not stop either teachers or students.
At the risk of his own life, the then director of the Rivne School of Nurses (also the director of the city's surgical hospital), surgeon Dmytro Saienko, moved to URA departments, taking surgical instruments and surgical care from graduates to provide medical care to Ukrainian resistance soldiers. Later, 15 graduates of the school went to the forest, who also helped the wounded, sometimes transporting them to the city hospital. For young women from Rivne, it was a titanic job, when practical skills often preceded theoretical knowledge. This was a big risk, because the Germans shot everyone suspected of collaborating with the URA. The difficult page of the turbulent calamity hardened the real arsenal of future physicians, for whom the choice of profession meant devotional service to the homeland. A teacher, sister Fedotivna and several young students were killed in the Gestapo cells, and Kharytia Kononenko herself died bravely, but the heroic struggle of young medics for the life of every Ukrainian soldier, whether he is URA soldier or later Red Army soldier, continued.
The Nazis failed to stifle the sprouts of medical education in Rivne, and in the first postwar year by order of the People's Commissar of Health of the USSR from May 28, 1945 №23318 in the maternity hospital on Soborna Street, Rivne Medical and Obstetric School was opened to train medical mid-level specialists. The doctor Volodymyr Ivanovych Maharko was appointed the first director of Rivne doctor assistant and midwife school on the 1st of July 1945.
On September 20, 1945, the boys and girls of the first set sat down at desks, discovering the still unknown world of the most humane profession - the medical worker. And despite the difficulties of the postwar years, 58 graduate students who successfully passed the state exams were qualified as physicians: for boys - "medical assistant", for girls - "midwife". The 8 best students received a diploma with honors. In 1947, a single form of educational work was established: theoretical classes, practical classes and industrial practice. For the first time, methodical cyclic committees in general and general medical disciplines appeared.
On June 24, 1954, by order of the Ministry of Health of the Ukrainian SSR, the medical and obstetric school was renamed the Rivne Medical School. In connection with the need to provide the population of the region with professional medical care, improving the quality of sanitary and hygienic services in 1961 the dental department was established, in 1962 - the pharmaceutical department was established, in 1963 – the sanitary and doctor assistant’s department was established, in 1971 – the laboratory assistant’s department was established.
In 1967, a new 600-seat medical school building was built, containing 22 studying offices, 12 classrooms and laboratories.
According to the order of the Ministry of Health of the USSR of August 1, 1979, the school received the status of basic, in recognition of the high level of medical workers’ training.
Well-known medical specialists worked in the walls of Rivne Medical School: doctors of medical sciences Yevhen Mykhailovych Borovyi and Borys Kostiantynovych Kvashenko, who also made a great contribution to the development of medicine in Rivne region. The graduates of Rivne Medical School are the current director of the college, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor R.O. Sabadyshyn, Head of the Department of Microbiology of Vinnytsia Medical University, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor H.K. Palii, Head of the Department of Anatomy of Ternopil Medical Academy, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Ya.I. Fedoniuk, Associate Professor of Anatomy of Ternopil Medical Academy V.L.Homon, Candidate of Medical Sciences of Chernivtsi Medical University I.F.Onofriichuk and others. Many students of this institution have become highly qualified specialists and work in all regions of Ukraine and abroad.
The development of the educational institution is linked with the names of its directors: V. I.Maharko (1945-1949), V.O. Prytula (1949-1959), V.I.Zabrodskyi (1959-1961), S.I.Yakusheskyi (1961-1969), Ye.F.Mazurenko (1969-1976), A.I.Horobei (1976-1998), from 1998 and till now – R.O.Sabadyshyn.
Taking into consideration the development trends of the medical school of the region, the reorganization of the institution is aimed at close cooperation between scientific and practical medicine. In fact, preparations for the reform of secondary special medical education in the Rivne region began in 1998, when the school was headed by its 1977 graduate, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Rostyslav Sabadyshyn. Implementation of the best pedagogy initiatives, development of new scientific ideas, accumulation of practical experience and methods of applying modern approaches to the educational process, modernization of the college in accordance with the latest achievements of technical progress - became his priorities as a leader. Under the leadership of Sabadyshyn Rostyslav Oleksiiovych and thanks to the efforts of the team, since 1999 Rivne Basic Medical School is gaining new importance, rising to the highest level, receiving the second level of accreditation. And by the decision of the State Accreditation Commission of Ukraine of April 13, 1999 it received the status of a medical college.
From 2018, according to the decision of the Rivne Regional Council of July 27, Rivne State Basic Medical College was renamed into the municipal institution of higher education "Rivne Medical Academy" of the Rivne Regional Council.
But the life realities quickly proved the need for the existence and effective functioning of both educational units in Rivne: the medical academy and the medical college. Therefore, in accordance with the decision of the Academic Council and in accordance with the order of the Rivne Medical Academy of the Rivne Regional Council dated December 26, 2019, the Rivne Medical College is reorganized into Professional Medical College, which is a structural unit of the academy and carries out educational activities related to with the training of qualified specialists at the level of junior specialist and professional junior bachelor in the medical and pharmaceutical fields with a complete secondary education with the level of competencies in the amount of relevant state educational standards.
One cannot ignore the fact that in the pages of the college history an important place was taken by not quite medical aspects. After all, the school has long had educational groups, dance and song groups of amateur artists, who often win prizes in regional and district competitions. At the same time, a number of complex programs on physical education have been developed, which are directly focused on the peculiarities of the future medical profession. The school is proud of the winners in arm wrestling, gymnastics, basketball, speedway. Any potential student will be able to realize himself not only as a medical worker, but also as an athlete, local historian, singer or dancer.
In 2019, the new head of the Professional Medical College became a woman for the first time - Turovska Iryna Oleksandrivna, who sees the college as a center of innovative medical education with compulsory integration into the European space. Management culture of Turovska I.O. is determined by both managerial competencies: knowledge of the nuances of labor and management functions, management technologies and information support, organization of office work, and personal high moral qualities, interpersonal communication skills, which constitute the motivational core of managerial behavior.
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