The Careum Foundation has been involved in healthcare training for over 130 years.
The Careum story began in 1882 with the establishment of the foundation known as “Schwesternschule und Krankenhaus vom Roten Kreuz Zürich-Fluntern” (“Zurich-Fluntern Red Cross Nursing School and Hospital”). The nursing school and its associated training hospital were set up in close proximity to the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich. This effectively laid the foundations for the Careum Campus. Even today, this unique location – right in the heart of Zurich's university district – still offers the perfect conditions for fulfilling the Foundation's purpose: “The Foundation supports training in healthcare and social services through innovation and development.”
Nursing school and hospital
After it was founded, the nursing school developed into a non-denominational school for nursing and healthcare. The Zurich-Fluntern Red Cross Hospital became established as a private clinic and training hospital with a particular focus on gynaecology and obstetrics. Developments in health and training policy in the 1990s prompted the Foundation to change course and pursue a new path:
- In 1997, the hospital closed following the introduction of the Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act (Krankenversicherungsgesetz KVG).
- In 1999, the development of a radically revised curriculum for nursing involving problem-based learning began.
- In 2004, the Foundation changed its name to the “Careum Foundation”. This incorporates two elements: “care” and “lyceum” (a place of learning in ancient Athens).
- In 2005, the Careum Training Centre opened with a vocational college and a PET (professional training and education) college.
Since 2005, the Careum Campus has been training men and women into qualified nursing professionals. The Careum Training Centre also offers five training schemes for health professions at PET college level and two vocational training programmes at upper secondary level. In 2012, the Department of Health Science at Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences moved to the Careum Campus. In 2019, it was renamed the Careum School of Health, where training and continuing education courses are taken up to Master's degree level.
Development of an interprofessional Careum Campus
Since construction work on the site began in 2003, Careum has been pursuing the vision of creating an interprofessional campus to serve as a place for learning, research and exchange. The motto is one of “teaching, learning and researching – from, about and with one another”. During the course of developing and extending the Careum Campus, various innovative training projects have been implemented. These include, among other things, the Careum Training Centre for vocational training and higher education in healthcare, the curriculum network for problem-based learning and Careum Publishing, which develops and distributes learning and teaching material for professions associated with the healthcare and social services sectors. For the last ten years, Careum has also been working with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich to develop and implement interprofessional learning settings to prepare students for interdisciplinary collaboration.
The training projects make a vital contribution towards the development of skilled personnel to respond to the needs of the healthcare sector, demographic changes and social developments. With its wide range of training programmes, Careum appeals to trainees at various levels of education, from different age groups, with different personal situations and from different social backgrounds. The Careum Campus advocates the development and use of appropriate learning settings which enable experts to apply their skills effectively in the world of work. As well as specialist expertise, a great deal of emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary skills such as a capacity for reflection and the ability to communicate.
The Careum Foundation has been running a research unit since 2010 in cooperation with the Careum School of Health. The research institute of the Careum School of Health is orientated towards the competence and participation of patients, their relatives and professionals in healthcare and social services. Its main focus is on developing new innovative and cross-sectoral forms of care provision and living arrangements. These help to develop a high-quality and effective community-based care system which enables people to make their own decisions and lead an independent life. Key research areas include living with chronic illness, health literacy, supporting self-management and empowerment.
Patient education, an integral part of the research, epitomises Careum's commitment to a systematically patient- and user-orientated approach and has been developed and expanded by Careum since 2009. Integrated care with a focus on holistic processes and co-production is particularly called for in this respect. One reason for this is to ensure that the needs and resources of relatives as providers of informal support are taken into account. Due consideration is given to “caring” and the compatibility of family care with other roles at all stages in life. Through user-oriented projects, Careum generates impetus for tackling current issues relating to training and care provision in healthcare.
In 2019, the Careum Foundation introduced the new area of health literacy. Its aim is to strengthen the health literacy of the population and health care organizations in cooperation and exchange with national and international partners.