Effects of Clinical Placements on Paramedic Students’ Learning Outcomes
Background: Clinical placements are of major importance in students’ learning processes through creating supportive environments and fostering independence into paramedic professional roles. The study aimed to explore whether clinical experiences in out-of-hospital emergency services affected students’ learning outcomes and satisfaction.
Methods: A retrospective study was carried out using preceptors’ evaluations (n=160) and students’ feedback forms (n=21). Descriptive and non-parametric inferential statistics were used to analyse quantitative items, and open-ended questions were analysed using content analysis.
Results: Findings showed that more than 70% of students were satisfied with the quality of preceptors and the fieldwork atmosphere. Preceptors reported that students’ clinical skills across all categories improved significantly in the last two weeks of training. Qualitative data indicated that students displayed appropriate behaviour and professional socialisation and were keen to learn, and demonstrated competence in paramedic
Conclusion: A supportive atmosphere and positive student–preceptor relationships are key attributes for clinical placements if students are to accomplish learning outcomes in out-ofhospital environments.