PECH 1102


Dr. Farid Youssef is the Course Lecturer, Mrs. Stella Williams is the Course Co-ordinator, Mrs. Allison Shepherd is the Course Instructor and Rae-ann Smith is one of 12 Tutors of the course.

Health-care professionals are given the responsibility to make tough decisions which usually have grave ramifications for their clients. This means that independently, they must act in the service of their clients and be an advocate for them with the relevant authorities. Future health-care professionals need to be prepared to accept this responsibility: to be guided by the primary responsibility of acting in a client's best interests, without being influenced by any personal consideration. This preparedness comes through actively engaging with the community to address its needs, hopes and concerns, in short, to solve real-life problems. This is what Practicum: PECH 1102 provides.

This course introduces students to the skills and tools needed to "be the change that you wish to see in the world"[1] because Practicum: PECH 1102 students are service-learning[2] students. They gain new skills - valuable academic skills, including communication, teambuilding, and critical thinking - build self-esteem and develop a sense of responsibility for decision-making from working in the community. "Service-learning", therefore, is more than just a buzzword for community service or volunteering; this course goes beyond what is learned in the classroom by building hands-on experience with making a difference.

Eventually, students discover - as a result of creating their Practicum: PECH 1102 projects - their contribution was not only personally and professionally enriching but serving the community also helped to serve their need to be part of its growth. Practicum: PECH 1102 is demanding but if done right, will be fun, empowering, ultimately rewarding and consequently become the platform upon which, the relationship of trust each health-care professional needs to meet the highest standards of professional practice and behaviour is built.

[1] Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi.

[2] Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. What is Service-Learning? [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated unknown; cited 2013 July 20]. Available from:


The Practicum seeks to provide a link between what you are learning in the classroom and the real world. "What Is An Expert Student" describes service learning as the ability "not only to think well, but to act wisely" R.J. Steinberg.

He proposes six key objectives:

  1. Cultivate a sense of pride in national development and nation-building
  2. Become considerate and empathetic about pressing community needs
  3. Assume leadership positions as the opportunities arise
  4. Learn how to work with (and manage) scarce resources
  5. Cordially collaborate with others involved in team undertakings
  6. Leave your "integrity footprint" in society

Tenets of this Practicum:

  • creativity
  • sustainability
  • impact


At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Appreciate the relevance and significance of your professional training
  • Practice the principles of professionalism and ethics
  • Develop a sense of personal responsibility - as you seek innovative ways to serve your society
  • Embrace the true meaning of the social contract

Service learning will help students to:

  1. Think critically to solve complex problems
  2. Stimulate civic responsibility and community action
  3. Encourage cooperation and teamwork

In terms of project management, students learn how to conceptualize, design and implement a chosen health-related project considered beneficial to society. They will be exposed to various business and related competencies such as:

  1. Business communication
  2. Group dynamics
  3. Analytical & critical thinking
  4. Leadership & management
  5. Decision-making
  6. Problem solving
  7. Presentation skills

PECH Overview