Live virtual placements, the future of paramedic education?

Ward, Richard ORCID logo ORCID: , Freeman, Antony and McDarby, Frances (2023) Live virtual placements, the future of paramedic education? Ambulance Life, 23 (5). p. 7.

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Placements are key to students developing the necessary skills and experience required to become qualified paramedics and the pressure is on universities to offer a wide range of placement experiences to prepare them for work after graduation. Often, universities struggle to find placements that offer the right level of experience and learning opportunities for students or secure them in sought-after clinical areas such as primary care. This shortage can affect the experience that students accrue before qualification. Coupled with increasing numbers of students wishing to enter the profession, a shortage of trained professionals to mentor students, and the requirement from the Health and Care Professions Council for future paramedics to be able to consult patients virtually, this further complicates matters for universities. To address these challenges, we are piloting a series of live virtual placements for paramedic apprentices that provide essential placement experience in primary care to multiple students at the same time, virtually. During the placement, students interacted with the GP after each patient, providing a comprehensive and immersive learning experience. In the afternoon, the apprentices consolidated their learning in seminars linked to the morning’s experience. Student feedback from the exercise overall was supportive, with one student saying that they had their eyes opened by time constraints faced by GPs and another said that the experience was engaging and that it was good to understand healthcare from another perspective. The video stream of the first placement was recorded for future use in the programme’s curriculum. Eventually, we want to develop the model for other disciplines and placement settings. Already we can foresee that one of the most significant benefits of using live virtual placements is that they will be to help address the shortage placements available to paramedic students and apprentices in the future.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Ambulance Life
Publisher: Occucom Ltd
Departments: Institute of Health > Centre for Excellence in Paramedic Practice
Depositing User: Richard Ward
Date Deposited: 25 May 2023 11:24
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 15:01


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