Paramedical courses are job-oriented academic programs. Such courses aim to produce competent and well-trained health care professionals. However, many aspiring health care professionals are not well aware of the lack of information and popularity of these courses. While many students find the medicine sector lucrative, most of them flock to courses like Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), and Bachelor in Public Health (BPH). The list of paramedical courses offered by universities in Nepal are as follows:
Bachelor in Perfusion Technology is a quite new course to be introduced in Nepal. Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine (TUIOM) started Bachelor in Perfusion Technology from the academic year 2075/76. It is a four years course. Perfusion Technology is the study of physiology, pathology, and associated equipment that helped to support the function of the heart and lungs in medical procedures. Perfusion is the science of rendering extracorporeal pulmonary circulation as a means of artificial life support, by replacing the respiratory and circulatory systems of the patient. Some surgical procedures cannot be performed while the heart is beating, in such cases, the heart’s functions have to be taken over by external machinery. A heart-lung machine is used to keep the patient’s blood flowing until the heart can be restarted. Thus, Clinical perfusionists are skilled personnel who play a major role during organ transplants and offer life support to critically ill patients. They operate the machine in order to stop the heart and divert the blood away from the heart and lungs into the heart-lung machine which oxygenates the blood and returns it to the patient.
Also read: Perfusion Technology explained
Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) is yet another 4-year academic program offered exclusively by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), TU. The course enables the speech and hearing specialist, commonly referred to as Audiologist and Speech Pathologist, to provide services to the sufferers of hearing disorders and speech defects like stammering, stuttering, voice disorder, delayed speech, and language development disorders due to any cause. The degree is comparatively new in Nepal thus, it is yet to be recognized by Nepal Health professional Council and has only 6 seats available for each session. Similar to disciplines like Psychology, graduates of this program get both industrial as well as clinical exposure.
TU IOM started Bachelor in optometry (B. Optom) course as a three-year program, which was later upgraded to four years in 2005 AD. The program was started with an aim to produce competent, compassionate, and community-oriented optometrically trained manpower capable of providing vision care, identify ocular and related systemic illness to be referred to medical practitioners. Bachelor in Optometry (B. Optom) consists of studies in the basic physical and life sciences, the optometric sciences including optics, ocular anatomy and physiology, visual science, ophthalmic optics, ocular pathology, and diseases of the eye and visual system. The final year of the optometry course consists of a clinical training program where the emphasis is placed on the clinical application of the studies in the first two years to the management of patients with real vision problems.
Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology (B.Sc. MLT) program was introduced in Nepal in 1987 at Maharajgunj Campus. Later, Universal College of Medical Sciences and Teaching Hospital (UCMS), Chitwan Medical College (CMC), Gandaki Medical College (GMC), Little Angels College of Higher Studies (LACHS), and Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Science (MMIHS) also started offering the program in affiliation to TU. The program under IOM enrolls 15 students every academic session out of which there are 6 seats for students from PCL Health Science group and 9 for students from the (10+2) group. The BMLT course has been divided into 4 major subjects: Medical microbiology, Clinical biochemistry, Hematology and Histopathology, and Cytology. Students will attend theory and practical classes and will be assigned projects as per the curriculum.
Upon graduation, students will have a broad career prospect. Hospitals, research labs, blood banks, and industry labs are some of the major recruiters of B. Sc. MLT graduates.
Medical Imaging Technology is used to depict the inner physiology of a human body visually mainly in order to conduct medical analysis. X-Ray, Ultrasound, and MRI are some of the examples of Medical Imaging Technology. Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology (B.Sc. MIT) is a 4-year academic program at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that aims to facilitate students with operation and technology of the same equipment. B.Sc.MIT program enables students with practical technical knowledge about the operation of especially basic anatomy and pathophysiology of the disease process. The course also aims to increase competency in the field of radiology. At present, Chitwan Medical College, Maharajgunj Medical Campus, and Universal College of Medical Sciences offer B.Sc.MIT.
The history of cancer treatment in Nepal is short and the history of nursing in oncology is shorter even. Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNS) in Oncology is a specialized nursing course offered only by Pokhara University. It is a 3 years academic program with 4,175 hours of course work that is equivalent to 174 credit hours. offered by Nobel College, Pokhara University School of Health and Allied Sciences, and BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital are three colleges affiliated with Pokhara University. BNS Oncology was started for the first time in the year 2075 BS with an imperative to bring professional-level care through trained human resources for cancer patients.
The undergraduate program has been designed to cater to the healthcare needs of rural Nepal, where the reach of full-fledged health institutions is still lacking. The curriculum has been developed as per the government’s plans and policies to improve sexual and reproductive health care with a special focus on maternal, neonatal, and child health. The curriculum is based on the International Confederation of Midwife (ICM) global standard for midwifery education and in lieu with Nepal Nursing Council 2016 Minimum requirement of Bachelor in Midwifery program.
Before the start of this independent course, Midwifery was only offered as supplementary training to nurses. Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences (KUSMS) and the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) have been offering supplementary courses to registered nurses.
Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences (KUSMS) has been offering a four-year B.Sc.Lab. Med program since the academic year, 2019. A blend of both medicine and engineering, the course offers the opportunity to get acquainted with both disciplines. It basically involves using high-tech equipment in clinical laboratories to aid the diagnosis and treatment of different diseases. B.Sc.Lab.Med is a unique course in the sense that it has elements of both Medical Science and Engineering and this very characteristic sets it apart from any other medical or engineering courses. Internationally acclaimed course, B.Sc.Lab. Med focuses on pathology and diagnosing disease.
B.Sc. Medical Biochemistry is offered in Nepal by Nobel College under the affiliation of Pokhara University. It is spread across 8 semesters and differs from general biochemistry as it is entirely targeted to the medical aspect of the discipline of Biochemistry. While B.Sc. in Biochemistry incorporates chemical processes bringing together biology and chemistry within and in relation to all living organisms, B.Sc. Medical Biochemistry incorporates biochemistry and metabolism in humans and diseases in a way so as to manage and operate clinical biochemistry. B.Sc. Medical Biochemistry is a specialized medical course targeting human diseases and their treatments. Nobel College offers and course and has 20 seats available for the same.
B.Sc. Medical Microbiology is offered at Nobel College under the affiliation of Pokhara University. It is a 4-years long course, distributed across 8 semesters. The course is specialized to narrow down the scope of Microbiology and center it around medicine. The B.Sc. program covers subspecialties under the discipline of Microbiology such as Systemic and Diagnostic Bacteriology, Parasitology and Virology, and Mycology and Immunology.
Nursing is one of the most popular paramedical courses in Nepal mostly because of its huge international prospects. However, it is primarily a female-dominated discipline in the country. There are multiple types of courses offered in the nursing sector in Nepal. All of them involve the practice of caregiving for the patients individually, in families, or in communities. Colleges in Nepal offer Bachelor in Nursing Science (BNS), Bachelor of Nursing (BN), Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNS) in Oncology, Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Nursing, Post Basic Bachelor in Nursing (PBBN), and Post Basic Bachelor of Nursing (BN).
B.Sc. Nursing is offered by TU, KU, PU, BPKIHS, PAHS, and Pokhara University. Similarly, BNS is offered by KU and PAHS. PU and NAMS offer Post Basic Bachelor in Nursing and BN are offered by TU and BPKIHS.