Listening and communication styles of undergraduate paramedic students

Malcolm Boyle
September 2011

There is a need to identify if current undergraduate paramedic students have the appropriate attributes to ensure they are effective listeners and communicators and whether additional or specific elements need to be added to the paramedic curriculum. The objective of this study was to identify the listening and communication style preferences of undergraduate paramedic students at a major Australian university. Methods: a cross-sectional study using paper-based versions of the listening styles profile (LSP) and the communication styles measure (CSM) were administered to a cohort of students enrolled in the Bachelor of emergency health (paramedic). Ethics approval was granted. Results: students reported a preference for the people listening style and to a lesser extent, the content listening style. Consistent with this, they also reported a preference for the friendly and attentive communication styles and exhibited little preference for the dominant and contentious communication styles. Conclusion: the students’ self-reported preferences are well suited for the role of paramedic and it is likely that a disposition towards these styles of listening and communication also lead these people to enrol in a paramedic course given their preferences are associated with an interest and concern for the welfare of others.

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