Community ambulance response trolleys (CART): preparing students for the paramedic workplace

Georgia Clarkson, Heath Gangell

Abstract


Introduction
The curriculum of undergraduate paramedicine programs invariably includes clinical placement experiences. Engagement in learning in the workplace is however constrained by lack of familiarity with workplace cultural expectations. Strategies assisting students to understand workplace expectations have the potential to enhance engagement on placements and with workplace transition. This study examines whether one classroom practice initiative heightens students’ understanding of specific paramedic workplace expectations.
Methods
CART (a system developed to mimic equipment management strategies of the paramedic workplace) was introduced on one campus of an Australian university. Another university campus was selected as a comparison site and did not operate CART. CART campus students were assigned to a team and made responsible for maintaining and restocking all equipment utilised in practical classes, simulating strategies used within the paramedic workplace where a paramedic team shares responsibility for stocking and upkeep of equipment. Both cohorts completed a questionnaire exploring their experiences in the classroom and preparation for clinical placements.
Results
The CART system had a positive influence on the ability of students to collaborate within the classroom and become familiar with industry expectations around equipment management. This increased confidence with transition to learning within the workplace environment.
Conclusion
The CART strategy was effective in mimicking workplace practices and expectation and evidence indicated that CART can assist students with their ability to transition into a vocational environment.


Keywords


Education; allied health personnel; workplace; simulation training; culture

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