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Residential aged care facility clinical placements for undergraduate paramedic students: An evaluation of the Australian experience


Stratton, BM and Lea, E and Bramble, M and Eccleston, C and McCall, M and Lucas, P and Robinson, A, Residential aged care facility clinical placements for undergraduate paramedic students: An evaluation of the Australian experience, Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 12, (2) Article 1. ISSN 2202-7270 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Introduction: This paper presents an evaluation of the pilot aged care clinical placement undertaken by undergraduate paramedic students in the university-based Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre’s Teaching Aged Care Facilities Program. The objective is to examine the learning experiences of students taking part in the first paramedic student clinical placement in Tasmania to be situated in the residential aged care environment. The students’ interactions with residents with dementia and with older people requiring a palliative approach to care are discussed, as key strategies to enhance paramedic student learning.

Method: Twenty-one final year undergraduate paramedic students completed a 5-day (40 hour) clinical placement in September/October 2011, in two participating residential aged care facilities in Tasmania, Australia. Qualitative data were obtained from weekly feedback meetings with students, which were audio-recorded, transcribed, and subjected to content analysis. Quantitative data from pre and post-placement questionnaires were collected and descriptive analyses performed.

Results: The data showed that students enjoyed interaction with residents and that this built their communication skills, particularly with residents with dementia. Students also learnt about the importance of a palliative approach to care and improved their knowledge of dementia.

Conclusion: A supported placement program for paramedic students in residential aged care facilitates student learning in a number of areas, particularly around working with people with dementia, which is likely to enhance student readiness for the graduate paramedic role.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dementia; palliative approach; paramedic students; residential aged care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Aged care nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Palliative care
UTAS Author:Stratton, BM (Dr Brigit Stratton)
UTAS Author:Lea, E (Dr Emma Lea)
UTAS Author:Bramble, M (Dr Marguerite Bramble)
UTAS Author:Eccleston, C (Dr Claire Eccleston)
UTAS Author:McCall, M (Mr Michael McCall)
UTAS Author:Lucas, P (Dr Peter Lucas)
UTAS Author:Robinson, A (Professor Andrew Robinson)
ID Code:105551
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-01-07
Last Modified:2017-11-05

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