Modern Secondary Health Service Schools were first established and developed after the Second World War. They were preceded by 2-year schools for training Nurses and by the institutes for training Midwives. Most of them were administered by the churches.
The beginnings of nursing staff education in Kolín go back to September 1, 1949, when Higher Professional School for Training Nurses and Social Workers was opened at 135 Karolíny Světlé Street. The building is located close to the centre of the town and it houses Secondary Health Service School even today. Before that it used to be occupied by the School of Commerce.
During the first school year, 146 pupils were trained to become Nurses and Midwives. There were six classes there. Based on the regulation of the Ministry of Education and Science as of Dec. 10, 1949, the school changed its name to Higher Professional School for Training Nurses. This name was used between 1950 - 1953. In course of those three years the school became regular 4-year secondary school.
At the beginning the pupils were provided with boarding on the second floor of the school building. However, with increasing number of pupils and consequently classrooms there was less and less space and the boarding house moved to the Capuchin Monastery in Kolín.
In 1953 the co-ordinated national system of education, introduced by Minister Zdeněk Nejedlý, was abandoned and the Ministry of Health became responsible for Secondary Health Service Schools on 26th August 1953. Further development showed that the decision had been very useful for nursing staff education. The Ministry of Health emphasized professional education and practical training more and more. The classes were divided into smaller groups in order to achieve better results in practical training.
During the 1956/7 school year the pupils could also choose another branch of studies - Pediatric Nurse.
In 1961 the administration of the School is transferred to The Regional Institute of Health subject to the National Committee of Central Bohemia. The School in Kolín became a methodological centre for the other Secondary Health Service Schools in the region. Its new name was the Regional Secondary Health Service School. Including part-time courses there were 11 classes with 295 pupils.
On the occasion of its 25th anniversary the School published a memorial volume in 1974. It contained also information of the first years of the School existence including the photos of the teachers who were teaching at the School during its first school years. In 1974 the School was attended by 414 pupils.
In 1975-76 the School opened a new technical specialization : Pharmaceutic Laboratory Technician. Initially, it was a two-year post-secondary course, later on it was changed to the four-year secondary education. For capacity reasons it was necessary to convert the cancelled basic school in Drahobudice (a village near Kolín) to the boarding house.
At that time the pupils voluntarily worked in hospitals or health centres where they helped especially during vacation. One of the features of the school life was a voluntary help at the farms, such as hop-picking or vegetables picking.
1979-80 brought another organization change. Based on the resolution of the Ministry of Health, the regional schools did not serve as methodological centres any longer. The above facts demonstrate that there were continuous changes which made the educational work quite difficult.
In 1985 the School offered another specialization for Medical Laboratory Technicians. Step by step the school labs were equipped with the instruments needed for practical training.
After November 1989 new development started. New opportunities appeared, but they were accompanied with problems, too. Not everything turned to be a success. The Regional Institutes of Health were cancelled, and the School was administered by the District Office of Kolín for a short period of time. In 1991 the Ministry of Health became responsible for the schools providing education to the nursing staff. The situation changed once more in 1996 when the School started to be administered by the Ministry of Education. The post-revolution enthusiasm resulted in opening new Secondary Health Service Schools in Nymburk, Mělník and Kutná Hora (the Central Bohemia Region). The conception of education provided to Midwives and Pediatric Nurses has been changed. Since 1997 it has been possible to achieve those qualifications only at so called "Higher Professional Schools". The Secondary Health Service School of Kolín repeatedly tried to get the status of Higher Professional School, but it failed. 1996 was the last year when Midwives completed their studies in Kolín and the following year the same situation repeated with Pediatric Nurses.
The Capuchin Order required the monastery back into their ownership. The School has used only two repaired buildings at 230, 231 Na Petříně Street as a boarding house up to now. Their capacity is sufficient.
The school building was completely repaired between 1993 - 1995. The front of the house, heating and electric wiring were repaired, the gym was modernized. In the following years a language lab and fitness centre were built, pharmacy lab and computer room were newly equipped, Internet was installed and the rooms for professional training were completed.
The teaching staff has stabilized; the teachers meet the reqiurements for professional skills of secondary school teachers.
Close cooperation with health institutions is very important for the School activities. Hospital of Kolín has been a good and reliable partner for the School. A lot of doctors have taught the subjects directly related to medicine.
Professional skills are emphasized above all. The School organizes the annual contest of first aid administration. The school winning team enters the contest at the national level. The most successful team placed second in 1997. The pupils provide assistance on request at various cultural, social and sports events.
Even though the School is focused on professional education, it also organizes language, chemistry and literature contests. Those who like theatre performances can become members of the "Young Spectators Club" which allows the theatre-goers to travel to Prague´s theatres. The School organizes annual volleyball tournaments for their pupils. The best athletes represent the School at the "Athletic Cup". Skiing training and one-week sport training is organized for the pupils within curriculum.
During the 50th year of the School existence there will be three specializations to study : Nurse Generalist, Pharmaceutic Laboratory Technician and Medical Laboratory Technician. 11 classes in total are attended by 277 pupils.
19 internal teachers and 20 external teachers are responible for education of the students. The following personnel is responsible for operation of the School : a Principal´s Secretary, an Accountant, an Assistant, a School Caretaker, a Maintenance Man at the Boarding House, and 4 Housecleaners.From the establishment of the School until 30th June, 1999, the school program was completed by 4,657 pupils, out of which 1,953 Nurses (approx. corresponding to State Reg. Nurse qualification), 1,116 Pediatric Nurses, 1,057 Midwives, 342 Pharmaceutic Lab. Technicians and 207 Medical Lab. Technicians. Most of them work in various health facilities and many of them became Senior Nursing Officers or Principal Nursing Officers. Some of the pupils continued their studies at university, and the Secondary Health Service School provided them with necessary knowledge and skills.