History & Facts of 37 NMTC
Where we are coming from
The 37 Military Hospital Nursing and Midwifery Training College (37NMTC), a training wing of the 37 Military Hospital, was established as a department in July 1941, the same year the main hospital was built. It was established during the Second World War to train soldiers to augment the expatriate staff strength in the general hospital and the Medical Reception Stations (MRS). The college was then known as Nursing Orderlies’ Training Wing (NOTW). The college has gone through series of transformation. The programmes offered has transitioned from Nursing Orderlies to Qualified Registered Nursing to State Registered Nursing and Post Basic Midwifery. Currently, the programmes offered are Registered General Nursing and Registered Midwifery.
The school offered basic nursing course for soldiers who possessed the Middle School Leaver’s Certificate in the Ghana Armed Forces. Students therefore went through these various stages in the training:
- BIV-BIII which is a one year course with subjects such as fundamentals of nursing, first aid and bandaging including stretcher drill, hygiene, nursing practical, pharmacology
- BIII-BII which is a second year course whose subjects included anatomy and physiology, surgical nursing practicals
- and a final year course of BII-BI.
Students who successfully passed their BII exams were then registered for the Qualified Registered Nursing (QRN) exams. After the qualification the nurses were mustered and given A1 Nurses.
Since the training wing was the 2nd administrative branch of the hospital, the Sister Tutor acted in the capacity of the OIC and was responsible to the CO of the hospital. The OIC had 2iC and other tutors under her for the various subjects. Some of the names of the tutors were Lt. Sintim Aboagye and Sister Hutchinson White, Capt. Danso Adams and Capt. Sunkwa Mills.
As stipulated by the AFR Adm Vol 1, the tutors were on special allowance and other benefits such as special coffee break and annual leave outside the country. The general office of the college had a WO 1 in charge of the administrative staff and he acted as the RSM of the wing. He saw to the general discipline and organization of the wing. The RSM of the wing was respected by the students and student moral was high. The RSM also checked on the regularity of the students for lectures, since some of the courses were taken outside the college. He made regular inspection to the student lines and ensured that their feeding and general comfort was given. It is also recorded that the college had its own Part One and tutors read the hospital night’s report. The college collected every item needed from the Quarter Master yard, yet it had its own financial pool where the Sister Tutors had control over.
Placement of students
After six months of classroom work, students were sent to the ward for practical nursing for three months. They then went back to the class to complete the year course. Record indicates that students were however grouped into two after the BIV course. There was field ambulance training course and actual nursing course.
From 1961, the students were divided into these groups. The first three students to read the basic nursing course were:
- Pte Atsu Anago
- Pte Owusu Binpa
- Pte Owusu sarpong
The other group went in for the field ambulance course. The third category of nurses were the Brigade nurses. The two brigade nurses are:
- Nurse Osei Kwao
- Nurse Osahene
These two students were from the workers’ brigade and in 1961 were posted back to the various brigade centres which were sited in Cape Coast, Winneba, Takoradi and Kumasi.
However, after the 1966 coup de’ tat, these nurses were brought back to the Military Hospital and they rose through the ranks. Sister Kwao was the Principal Nursing Sister at the Accident and Emergency Unit before her death in 2004 while Sister Asahene who is a medical assistant (Rtd) is still alive but on pension.
Qualified Registered Nurses (QRN)
As earlier on stated, the college started the QRN course in 1958 and trained a lot of soldiers and brigade nurses for both the hospital and workers’ brigade hospitals. The Ministry of Health phased out the QRN course in 1972. After phasing out the QRN course, ENT, SRN and SRM were introduced in the same year 1972.
Rotation of the college
The NOTW was first sited at the present No. Reception, now School of Graduate Studies, in 1941 and then moved to the present location in 1961.
Where we are now
In 1984 the name was changed to the 37 Military Hospital Nurses’ Training College when the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana, gave the approval for the school to run the State Registered Nursing(SRN) Programme, thus making it the fourth professional nursing college in Ghana following Korle-Bu, Accra, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi and Agogo Presbyterian Hospital.
Today, it is called Nursing and Midwifery Training College with student population of about 301: running Registered General Nursing(RGN) and Registered Midwifery(RM) courses.