Ensuring undergraduate healthcare students are work ready graduates who possess real-world experiences and realistic expectations of their professional environment is essential for Australian universities. This is becoming increasingly more difficult to accomplish with ongoing difficulties on sourcing appropriate clinical placement learning opportunities. We developed and piloted a simulated paramedic night shift investigating if undergraduate paramedic students perceived the experience to be realistic and to what extent they felt it contributed toward their learning.
A total of 24 undergraduate paramedic students were recruited to participate in a simulated 13-hour paramedic night shift held on university campus. Student satisfaction and perceived value towards learning was measured using an online survey the day after the simulation.
23 of 24 participants completed the online survey. Survey data suggested 22 participants felt the simulated night shift to be realistic of real-life paramedic practice, provided a valuable learning experience and should be made a mandatory component of undergraduate paramedicine curricula.
Given the difficulties associated with providing clinical placement opportunities for students and the perception among health professionals that on entering the workforce many graduates often lack the adaptability required to undertake shift-work and the professional role of a paramedic, educators should consider the merits of providing overnight simulated experiences to undergraduate students to better prepare and acclimatise students to overnight shift work.
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