The study of human anatomy forms a foundational knowledge base essential for healthcare professional practice including paramedicine. However, little is known about the experiences and perceptions of undergraduate student paramedics towards learning anatomy. The aim of this study was to investigate this, utilising a questionnaire previously validated in medical students.
To explore anatomy learning experiences, a 32-item anatomy learning experiences questionnaire (ALEQ) modified for use with paramedicine students was distributed online to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Paramedic Practice at the University of Tasmania. Quantitative statistics were used to identify differences in responses between student groups. Cronbach’s alpha assessed the reliability of the modified ALEQ.
Fifty-one usable responses were obtained (20% response rate). Psychometric analysis demonstrated good overall reliability (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.88). The students perceived several learning activities as positive including textbooks, online learning and practical classes. However, it was generally felt the amount of content to learn was daunting. Furthermore, the students indicated working with cadavers would be highly beneficial for their learning. The relevance of anatomy was also recognised as being important to future clinical practice.
Despite the low response rate, the modified ALEQ was a reliable instrument to investigate the anatomy learning experiences and perceptions of paramedicine students. Further research with a larger cohort is required to confirm the reliability and generalisability of the results.
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