Embedding volunteer activity into paramedic education

Linda Ross, Sophia Kabidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Paramedics require a wide range of skills that are beyond clinical or technical skills in order to meet the demands of the role and provide quality and compassionate care to patients. Non-Technical or "soft" skills and attributes are generally challenging to teach and develop in the classroom setting. Volunteerism provides an opportunity for students to gain exposure to different communities and develop interpersonal skills. METHODS: This cross-sectional study used one-on-one interviews with 12 third-year Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic) students from Monash University, Australia, who completed a community volunteering program. RESULTS: Results suggest that paramedic students see volunteering as a highly valuable means of developing a number of skills crucial to their future roles and paramedic practice. Volunteering also provided students with an opportunity to learn about themselves and the broader community, develop confidence, and improve overall job-readiness and employability. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that embedding volunteering into paramedic education is an effective way to develop the broad range of paramedic attributes required for the role. These experiences allow students to make the important transition to a job-ready graduate paramedic who can provide holistic patient-centred care. J Allied Health 2017; 46(3):192-196.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Volume46
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

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