Volume 9 Issue 1

Paramedicine for our communities

Paramedicine, as we know it today, is still in its infancy when compared with other healthcare professions. Militaries around the world initiated the profession by training soldiers to be physician (medic) assistants on the battlefield—hence the term ‘paramedic’.

Work integrated learning in Vanuatu: student perspectives

Background: Non-traditional work integrated learning (WIL) experiences have become increasingly popular within undergraduate paramedicine programmes, partly because WIL is considered a valid pedagogy that contributes to the integration of clinical and supporting science capabilities. Aim: This paper builds upon previous WIL evaluation activities to determine whether an international WIL experience in Vanuatu provided a useful clinical and cultural learning experience for undergraduate paramedicine students. Methods: A 60-question survey was administered to participants, with questions chiefly focusing on clinical and cultural experiences during this overseas trip. Survey response frequencies have been presented and free-text responses have been used to provide further descriptive detail. Findings: This international WIL experience appears to have provided a very useful clinical and cultural learning experience for undergraduate paramedicine students. Discussion: Consideration should be given to further evaluation activities, and the development of a validated survey instrument, to more effectively measure the quality of non-traditional WIL programmes.

Global patient experience of paramedic practice

Background: Paramedics occupy an ever-increasing role within healthcare and the development of this role should be informed by the voice of patients. This systematic literature review seeks to explore patient experience during a paramedic intervention. Methods: Using a ‘state of the art’ review style, a systematic search was conducted of the literature published between 2006 and 2018. Following PRISMA guidelines, a total of seven articles meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. A definition of experience which incorporates several dimensions was used to frame the search. Results: Three themes were identified, with the available literature focusing mainly on satisfaction. Satisfaction is improved through certainty and clarity of the progression through treatment and is high among patients of paramedics. Conclusion: Our understanding of patient experience in paramedic interventions is largely limited to an understanding of satisfaction. While this may provide some useful insights, other facets such as the lived experience and physiologic aspects are underrepresented in the current evidence base.