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.

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