Previous studies have shown teaching public health in medical courses improves students’ analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. However, little research to date has shown if public health teaching is helpful to paramedic students. The aim of this study was to examine if having paramedic tutors teach public health had a positive effect on students’ learning and interest in public health.
184 second-year paramedic students at an Australian university completed a printed survey and provided feedback about their learning experience. Students answered multiple choice and open-ended questions about whether their understanding of a public health subject was improved by having a paramedic tutor, and if having different tutors each week affected students’ learning.
Most students reported their understanding of public health improved when the subject was taught by a paramedic tutor and when paramedic scenario examples were included in teaching. Nearly half felt having different tutors each week made learning difficult. The following themes emerged from student narratives: the relevance of public health to their career; an improved understanding of public health; a realisation about the importance of public health; difficulties presented by an inconsistent teaching style; and poor follow-up and conflicting advice.
Teaching public health from a paramedic perspective enabled students to understand the relevance of paramedic practice and the role paramedics play in the public health system. Having the same paramedic tutor teaching each week helped students understand the relationship between public health and paramedic practice.
O’Meara P, Stirling C, Ruest M, Martin A. Community paramedicine model of care: an observational, ethnographic case study. BMC Health Serv Res 2016;16:39.
Sheringham J, Lyon A, Jones A, Strobl J, Barratt H. Increasing medical students’ engagement in public health: case studies illustrating the potential role of online learning. J Public Health 2015;38:e316-24.
Wylie A, Leedham-Green K. Health promotion in medical education: lessons from major undergraduate curriculum implementation. Educ Prim Care 2017;28:325-33.
Farahangiz S, Salehi A, Rezaee R, Imanieh MH. Assessment of students’ perspective about master of public health program in medical school of Shiraz University. J Adv Med Educ Prof 2016;4:39-43.
Kershaw G, Grivna M, Elbarazi I, et al. Integrating public health and health promotion practice in the medical curriculum: a self-directed team-based project approach. Front Public Health 2017;5:193.
Senior E, Telford M. Using an integrated teaching and learning approach to deliver inter-professional practice in public health. Nurse Educ Today 2015;35:1013-5.
Dewar DM, Bloom MS, Choi H, Gensburg L, Hosler A. The integrated first year experience in the master of public health program. Am J Public Health 2015;105:S97-8.
Frenk J, Hunter DJ, Lapp I. A renewed vision for higher education in public health. ibid. 2015;105:S109-13.
Williams B, Boyle M, Brightwell R, et al. A cross-sectional study of paramedics’ readiness for interprofessional learning and cooperation: results from five universities. Nurse Educ Today 2013;33:1396-75.
Hou X, Rego J, Service M. Paramedic education opportunities and challenges in Australia. Emerg Med Australas 2013;25:114-9.
Liamputtong P. Qualitative research methods (5th edn). Australia: Oxford University Press, 2019.
Farahangiz S, Salehi A, Rezaee R, Imanieh MH. Assessment of students' perspectives about master of public health in medical school of Shiraz University. J Adv Med Educ Prof 2016;4:39-43.
Kershaw G, Grivna M, Elbarazi I, et al. Integrating public health and health promotion practice in the medical curriculum: a self-directed team-based project approach. Front Public Health 2017;5:1-9. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00193
Duffy SA, McCullagh M, Lee C. Future of advanced practice public health nursing education. J Nurs Educ 2015;54:102-5.
Wylie A, Leedham-Green K. Health promotion in medical education: lessons from a major undergraduate curriculum implementation. Educ Prim Care 2017;28:325-33. doi:10.1080/14739879.2017.1311776
Duta N, Tomoaica E, Panisoara G. Desirable characteristics defining to describe an effective teacher. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 2015;197:1223-9. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.383
Murray CC, Sheremenko G, Rose ID, et al. The influence of health education teacher characteristics on students' health-related knowledge gains. J School Health 2019;89:560-8. doi:10.1111/josh.12780
Kolchraiber F, De Oliveira Freitas M, De Santana C, et al. Pedagogical strategy for teaching and learning epidemiology in nursing undergraduate school. Rev Bras Enferm 2019;72;414-9. doi:10.1590/0034-7167-2018-0077