Paramedic education: the significance of graduate attributes

The Australian health care system and delivery of health services is under increasing pressure. Therefore, preparing health care graduates for these expected changes requires careful alignment of graduate attributes to core components of academic curricula. The Australian paramedic discipline has seen a remarkable change in a number of areas over the past three decades including education, training, health care identity, and scope of clinical practice. However, the Australian paramedic discipline is currently in a tenuous position for a number of reasons: it is not registered or regulated nationally and university paramedic education programmes are not formally accredited. This has led to non-standardized curriculum standards and uncertainty whether graduates are meeting industry and health service needs. This article will discuss why graduate attributes are important in registration, regulation and curricula development, and how and why graduate attributes are integral in providing graduates with the employability skills expected by employers. While this paper focuses on the issues in Australia, many of these issues are also faced by the paramedic profession and higher education sector in the UK. Therefore, it should provide the readership with germane material in their quest for curriculum and graduate attribute renewal.

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