Joanne Brooke, Marlon Stiell
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 9, Iss. 8, 04 Aug 2017, pp 348 - 353

There is a lack of understanding on how paramedic students develop their knowledge,
skills and attitudes to support people living with dementia and their families. This original
qualitative study applied focus groups to explore paramedic students' perspectives.
First and third year paramedic students were recruited from two ambulance service
providers in the South of England. Data were collected during January and February
2017 and three themes emerged: 1) challenges of communication 2) students' negative
emotional response, and 3) lack of social care and pathways. Paramedic students did
not discuss person-centred approaches to support people with dementia; however they
all acknowledge the impact of dementia as unique to each person, their family and
situation. Undergraduate paramedic education needs to support the development of
students' communication and interpersonal skills. Both university lecturers and placement
educators need to provide consistent, clear, detailed information to enable students to
support and care for people with dementia and their families.

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