Bill Lord, Nigel Barr, Belinda Flanagan
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 10, Iss. 2, 02 Feb 2018, pp 56 - 62

Background: The current study describes the design and implementation of
a residential aged care facility placement, and reports student experiences
using an attitudinal survey across two cohorts.

Method: Placements in January 2014 and 2015 were surveyed to identify barriers and enablers
to student learning. Descriptive analysis was used to report the frequency of responses for categorical variables. Chi-square tests were used to analyse change in item rank by year.
Content analysis was used to analyse text responses.

Results: Initial 2014 results show that 75.4% of respondents agreed that they were
able to achieve the required learning outcomes during this placement, with
72.8% agreeing that the placement improved their knowledge of community based
care for the elderly. Students tended to agree that the placement
improved their confidence as practitioners, and that the experience helped to
improve communication skills.

Conclusion: This initiative showed that it is possible to enable learning outcomes that are directly related to core paramedic competencies. The placement was associated with improved understanding of age-related health problems. In addition, the placement provided opportunities
to observe the role of health professionals in the maintenance of an older individual's health, social and spiritual needs.

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