In 2015 a pilot remote area practice workshop was conducted for final year students in an entry to practice paramedic program attending the University of the Sunshine Coast. The pedagogy was based on social constructivism and experiential learning in which students were tasked to solve real world problems in a remote environment. A feed-forward teaching philosophy based on collaboration and scaffolding enabled students to construct their own knowledge of practice in this environment.
We evaluated the experience from both participant and facilitator viewpoints using the Nominal Group Technique, which places emphasis on themes within the feedback obtained. Nominal group technique was utilised as a data collection method at the end of the two-day workshop to achieve consensus on positive aspects of the learning experience as well as to identify areas to be developed in future iterations.
The data indicated that the participants valued the challenging scenarios resembling real-world practices that also included a mock communications centre. This highlighted issues which may not have been discovered using other methods of feedback. We found the nominal group technique method to be an appropriate method to gain a consensus of opinions and differentiate critical feedback from the less critical feedback.
The 2011/12 interprofessional graduate programme (IPG) was Australia's first programme for graduates of double degrees in nursing and paramedicine.
The aim of this study was to examine the employment outcomes and participant experience of the first cohort of 10 IPG participants.
Data were collected by repeated surveys (6 months prior to, 6 months and 18 months following IPG completion) and interviews.
There were 10 IPG participants, nine completed all surveys and nine agreed to be interviewed. Two were males and the average age was 23.7 years (SD=1.3). At IPG completion, all participants were employed by Ambulance Victoria: five participants were working casual shifts in emergency nursing. Themes related to career choice were that casual employment was easier in nursing and paramedicine had higher levels of freedom and more regular shift patterns. Mean scores for involvement decreased (<i>p</i><0.018) and manager control increased (<i>p</i><0.018). The four themes related to participant experience were: i) best of emergency health care; ii) knowledge and experience; iii) understanding and respect; and iv) chopping and changing.
Participants' experience of IPG were mostly positive. Traditional professional and industrial structures still prevent double degree graduates using their skills and knowledge to their full capability.
The 2015 Student Paramedics Australasia (SPA) International Conference was held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in September over two days. This was the premiere and biggest gathering of student paramedics, and this year over 180 delegates came from right across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with presenters from the above countries as well as Canada and the USA.
To compare professional education requirements for Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educations Programs (CAAHEP)-accredited community college paramedic programs and associate degree registered nurse programmes at the same institution.
All CAAHEP-accredited community college paramedic programmes were identified from the CAAHEP website. The college website was visited to determine credits granted for paramedic professional education, followed by a search of the college website to determine if there was an associate degree registered nursing programme. If there was, the credits granted for registered nurse professional education was determined and the pair was recorded.
At the 259 community colleges in the United States that had both a CAAHEP-accredited paramedic and registered nursing education programme that were offered for college credit, paramedic professional education was granted more college credit than nursing professional education at the individual college level 81% of the time. At the national level, median (48 versus 40 college credits) of paramedic professional education exceeded associate degree registered nursing professional education by 20%.
Professional education for paramedics is granted more college credit that the professional ed-ucation for associate degree registered nurses.