The effect of COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns on education has been discussed broadly in both the media and among academics, however its true effects on paramedicine students and their ability to attend in-person lectures, skill sessions and clinical placements has not been widely researched. This study aimed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on a group of paramedicine students at an Australian university.
A cross-sectional study using a convenience sample of first and second year paramedicine students was undertaken to explore their perceived experiences of COVID-19 through both qualitative and quantitative responses.
A total of 83 paramedicine students from Griffith University in Queensland participated in the survey, demonstrating an 84.7% response rate. Of the participants, 78.3% (n=65) disagreed that online workshop sessions were as valuable as face-to-face sessions. Similarly, the majority of participants (61.5%, n=51) disagreed that online lectures and tutorials were as beneficial as in-person equivalents. A further 61.4% (n=51) of students agreed that COVID-19-associated lockdowns had negatively impacted their ability to formulate strong personal relationships that are important for university, however 78.3% of students agreed that communication platforms assisted in maintaining some form of social interaction.
The results from this study demonstrate that the educational and social impacts of COVID-19 on paramedicine students were highly diverse, and were contingent on several factors including but not limited to: year of study, learning style, previously established social connections and extenuating life circumstances.
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