Volume 10 Issue 1

How report writing supports paramedic students' learning

Writing skills are critical as emergency medical services (EMS) use them to support patient care, yet limited research supports EMS writing practice and pedagogy. The field of writing studies and its sub-field of technical communication offers theories and methods to understand these skills. Grounded in writing theory, this article reports on a longitudinal study about paramedic documentation training and uses the framework of ‘threshold concepts’: ideas, knowledge, and skills writers gain that transform learning. This study collected paramedic students' writing over 2 years, and participants also completed interviews and focus groups. Grounded theory and textual analysis guided data analysis. Findings suggest that paramedic students pass through significant learning thresholds when they write during field training, including developing expertise, audience awareness, and reflection. In turn, writing provides an opportunity for paramedic students to learn critical skills. This article provides assignment ideas that training programmes can use to harness writing's transformative power.

Improving motivation for self-directed training in Danish EMS personnel

Background: Emergency Medical Services personnel's motivation to carry out self-directed training might be impaired by several factors such as work environment, pressures and training facilities. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether easy access to local training facilities would improve individual motivation for self-directed training. Methods: A before-and-after study of 118 Danish personnel was conducted. Participants were asked to complete two identical questionnaires, exploring their motivation and training efforts, before and after initiatives to promote training were introduced. Results: Response rates were 69 and 77, respectively. Motivation for self-directed training increased, on a scale from 1–10, from 5.6 to 6.7. The rating of opportunities to perform self-directed training increased from 4.1 to 5.9 and the rating of the training facilities from 3.7 to 6.3. The frequency of training sessions completed increased (every shift <i>n</i>=6 to 12, every second-to-third shift <i>n</i>=29 to 37). Conclusion: The increase in ratings regarding motivation and effort for carrying out self-directed training suggests that easily accessible training facilities improves individual motivation for self-directed training in emergency services personnel.