Paramedic training and higher education: a natural progression?

The paramedic profession has undergone a period of transition in the past decade. One of the most fundamental changes is the emergence of higher education (HE) as central to the development of qualified paramedics and those looking to enter the profession for the first time. Amidst a back-drop of regulation and increasing expectations, the position of HE has become one of the key drivers for a profession facing increasing challenges. This article explores the theoretical concepts which underpin the delivery of paramedic training within the HE setting. A number of different teaching strategies are examined which demonstrate how HE equips paramedic students with the skills needed to operate effectively in the prehospital setting. The concept of an autonomous practitioner is discussed and specifically, the role which HE has to play in their development. Consideration is also given to the way in which HE can empower paramedics to continue their development post qualification.

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