Education

Frameworks that guide curriculum development in Australian higher education

Background: In Australia, accrediting body competencies reflect paramedic professional practice rather than informing curriculum development for higher education institutions. Purpose: This article will investigate frameworks that can be used to design curriculum development. Method: An initial focused discourse analysis of the grey literature was undertaken followed by a systematic review. Findings: Three of the 18 institutions in Australia and New Zealand that offer paramedic education...

Student paramedic decision-making: a critical exploration of a patient interaction

Clinical decision-making is a multifaceted construct, requiring the practitioner to gather, interpret and evaluate data to select and implement an evidence-based choice of action. Clinical reasoning is a difficult skill for students to develop due in part to the inability to guarantee awareness or opportunity to develop within time spent in practice. While professional developments within the past few years have established a supportive preceptorship programme within NHS trusts for new paramedic...

Undergraduate paramedics' understanding of mental health insight placements

Aims: Paramedics are often patients' first point of contact during mental health crises, and are increasingly responding to mental health emergencies. Paramedic training focuses predominantly on trauma and emergency physical healthcare rather than mental health difficulties. A UK-based pilot evaluation study aimed to find out whether providing mental health ‘insight’ placements for paramedic students in a local mental health trust would improve their understanding of patients with mental health...

Changing paramedic students' perception of people who self-harm

Aim: This study aimed to identify whether paramedic students' perceptions of patients who self-harm changed following an educational intervention. Background: Self-harm is a major public health concern with an increasing number of incidents being reported in England. Paramedics are often the first contact for those who self-harm and antipathy to these patients among caregivers, including paramedics, has been reported. Negative attitudes to patients who self-harm from health professionals is a...

A ‘think aloud’ exercise to develop self-awareness of clinical reasoning in students

Aims: This study aimed to evaluate the ‘think aloud’ teaching exercise's ability to develop clinical reasoning skills of student paramedics, and to ascertain its feasibility as an ongoing method to enhance clinical reasoning teaching and potentially alleviate problems around applying theoretical learning to practice. Methods: A qualitative approach was taken to seek the opinions and experiences of students taking part in the activity to determine levels of enjoyment, how relatable it was to...

Student paramedics' views on placements in general practice as part of a degree

Background: Frontline paramedics are increasingly attending to non-emergency problems and calls that could be managed by a primary care provider. Alongside this, there is a growing pressure to manage patients at home or use an alternative care pathway and reduce hospital conveyance. Student paramedic training, including both placement and taught elements at university, should therefore reflect this. However, placement opportunities for student paramedics in primary care settings is variable...

Road resilience: adaptive education for emerging challenges

The reality of paramedicine can cause students emotional distress, especially if this tests their values or beliefs. Therefore, educating students to be resilient and prepared for unpredictable, distressing events should be considered. The need to increase professional longevity in paramedicine has shifted employers' focus from road readiness to road resilience, which presents a complex challenge for educators. This article is the first of a series to discuss the use of supporting sciences to...

Application of pelvic binders by student paramedics: an observational cohort study

Background: Pelvic fractures occur in approximately 20% of all multi-system traumas and can lead to loss of life through exsanguination. Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines advocate application of a pelvic binder, which is most effective when placed at the level of the greater trochanters; however, multiple studies demonstrate a high degree of misplacement. Aims: The aim of the current study was to assess the ability of UK student paramedics to locate the greater trochanters and...

Clinical decision making and the challenges of responding to mental health needs

The paramedic service responds to emergency calls for a variety of reasons, many relating to mental health concerns. This qualitative study aims to explore the views and experiences of student paramedics in relation to clinical decision making for mental health calls. Focus groups were used to investigate the participants' perspectives. Thematic analysis was used to organise data and identify key issues. Findings suggested some disparity between what paramedic students were prepared for and the...

Interdisciplinary work integrated learning: a pilot evaluation instrument

Background: Work integrated learning (WIL) activities—sometimes termed student placements, practice-based learning, cooperative education or workplace learning activities—are embedded into university course curricula to prepare students for future professional environments. Aims: This study evaluates an interdisciplinary and multiagency WIL activity undertaken by university students (n=14). Methods: Pre- and post-activity survey instruments were used to gain perspectives on student...

Nearly qualified student paramedics' perceptions of reflection and use in practice

Reflection is embedded in a variety of higher education healthcare programmes, and is a continuing professional development requirement for paramedics (Health and Care Professions Council, 2012; 2014). The listed benefits of reflection include incorporation and exploration of an evidence base into a clinician's practice; avoidance of routine practice; identification of shortfalls in knowledge; and identification of learning needs by the reflector (Jasper et al, 2013). Nine nearly qualified...

A tactical analgesic option for Durham and Cleveland police firearms medics: the journey

Background:With an ever-increasing exposure to clinical situations, predominantly trauma, firearms medics at Durham and Cleveland police forces began to consider whether an increase in their scope of practice was needed; specifically, whether they could add analgesia administration to their clinical protocols.Considerations:The request was directed to the Tactical Medical Advisory Group (TMAG). This faculty comprises a clinical lead, emergency medicine doctors, military and civilian paramedics...

Human factors in student paramedic practice

Human factors affect paramedic practice and training. However, although there are frequent references to human factors in the literature, little evidence on this is available on those that influence student paramedic development. A personal experience as a student paramedic highlighted certain human factors unique to the role, most notably how interactions between students and mentors can affect a student's practice. Following this, the awareness and effect of human factors within the student...

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