‘Giving a piece of you’: the lecturer experience of aiding student wellbeing

Background: The mental health of ambulance clinicians is a national priority. For student paramedics, the risk and inherent vulnerability to poor mental wellbeing are significant. However, evidence exploring support in universities for paramedic students and the role of academic faculty in this within paramedic preregistration programmes is limited. Aims: To explore the experiences and perceptions of university lecturers towards supporting student paramedic wellbeing. Methods: A qualitative research design was adopted to explore the experiences of six paramedic senior lecturers from three urban universities. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews and thematically analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings: Themes of ‘navigating the professional role,’ ‘the whole student’, ‘enabling cultural change’ and ‘supporting resilience and preparedness for practice’ were identified. Conclusions: University lecturers play a crucial role in student paramedic wellbeing and the unique role and identity of paramedic academics should be embraced. Paramedic programmes should consider a proactive approach to emotional health within the curriculum, alongside peer support, student-centred initiatives and tailored trauma support.

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