Examination of undergraduate paramedic clinical placement within a traditional and novel setting.

Gavin Smith



Increasing student enrolments and limited capacity within traditional placements have defined a need to reassess the format of clinical placement programs. This study aimed to compare traditional and novel clinical placement experience of third year paramedic science students at Victoria University in order to report elements that may contribute to identifying an optimum model for future clinical placement programs.


A descriptive study of final year paramedic student clinical placement case exposure, with comparative analysis of local (Ambulance Victoria (Australia)) and international (Magen David Adom (Israel)) student cohorts. Descriptive statistics were used to report patient and student experience factors. Specific case exposure, demonstration of skills and use of pharmacological agents are reported as proportions. Statistical analysis employed SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Version 20.0, SPSS Inc., (IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York, U.S.A.).


A total of 441 cases were analysed: 206 and 235 in the local and international study groups respectively. Mean caseload per paramedic student was not significantly different between study groups (1.2 cases (95%CI -2.8 to 0.4, p = 0.1)). The international group engaged in a greater range of shifts, including more afternoon shifts and the opportunity to experience night shifts.    


This study provided the first descriptive analysis of a traditional and international clinical placement experience for paramedic undergraduate students, identifying benefit in both programs. Future studies incorporating a mixed methods design measuring practical exposure will add important depth and understanding to clinical placement optimisation.


paramedic student, clinical placement, case exposure

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33151/ajp.13.2.509


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