The BScMedScHons Degree

This programme is presented over a 2-year period for part-time students and over a 1-year period for full-time students. 

Successful completion of the degree programme enables you to register hyperbaric medicine as an additional qualification with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).  The entry requirement for the course is the MBChB (or equivalent) degree and meet the requirements set for entry into each specific module.  For the purposes of practical training the candidate also need to have a certificate of fitness for hyperbaric exposures.

The course consists of different modules, each of which you are able to do separately.  Some modules however require previous modules as entry level.
Practical training (where applicable) takes place in a Hyperbaric Centre, where candidates will receive hands-on training in the evaluation of patients for HBO therapy and working with chambers.  We envisage that various hyperbaric centres would be accredited around the world for training.  This means that the contact time may be decentralized in future.

1. Basic Hyperbaric Medicine

This module has a distance training element, as well as contact time of four days.  The processes for evaluating patients for possible benefit from HBO therapy are covered and the practical training focuses on the techniques of examining such patients.  Contact sessions are usually scheduled over a weekend, to ensure that General Practitioners are not influenced in their practice unnecessarily. 

2. Operational Hyperbaric Medicine

This module's outcome is "competence in hyperbaric medicine", which means that the candidate will be able to manage patients in a hyperbaric chamber.  He or she will be able to manage common chamber-related emergencies and provide appropriate care for the patients receiving HBO therapy.

3. Advanced Hyperbaric Medicine

This module "takes it to the next level".  Complicated medical issues regarding the hyperbaric environment are addressed and the cutting-edge research issues are put on the table.  The candidate completing this module will have expert knowledge in the field of Hyperbaric Medicine and can act as a consultant.  The unexplained hyperbaric medical issues can then be further addressed in research projects.  The candidate gets an introduction to research methodology in the next module.

4. Research Methodology

This module serves to introduce the candidate to basic research methodology (Epidemiology and Biostatistics).  The person would be able to critically appraise research documents (e.g. journal articles) they read and they will practice the basic research methodology by presenting a small research project (The purpose is to show mastering of the basic research methodology and not necessarily the answering of a specific research question - for this purpose the candidates are advised to limit their project to a descriptive study, rather than analytic).