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Giving paramedic students a voice led to changed learning experiences and the opportunity to get more than they bargained for!

Friday 5 July: Conference day three, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 4 – 303-G16, Sem



Alecka Miles
Edith Cowan University, Australia



Constructivist approaches to teaching are widely supported in educational literature; however, student voice is frequently overlooked as a valid source when developing learning experiences for students (1). Practical skills in health professions within Higher Education are routinely taught outside the clinical environment, often through simulation based learning (2). When these practical skills are learned through simulation, it is then expected that they are readily transferred to the clinical environment and that students perform these skills confidently on real patients after simulation based learning (2 – 4). At Edith Cowan University, paramedic students traditionally have been taught invasive skills such as peripheral intravenous (IV) cannulation–a core paramedic skill using part-task skills trainers to simulate IV catheter insertion. In 2015, undergraduate paramedic students identified that they were feeling unprepared for clinical placement and the workplace as they were finding it challenging to apply peripheral IV cannulation from the skills trainer to live patients. As a result of this feedback, students were given the opportunity to suggest ideas for a better teaching approach for this core skill; they recommended being able to cannulate people prior to undertaking clinical placement.


The initiative

The feedback had a significant impact and approval was gained to provide the students with a more meaningful learning experience of cannulating live patients during their clinical skills class–each other. This has been welcomed with a mixture of nervousness, excitement, apprehension and a high level of student motivation to become efficient in this core skill.



A voluntary sample of 46 undergraduate paramedic students 2018 from ECU students participated. Their satisfaction and perceived value towards learning and the teaching methods was measured using an online survey.


Evidence of effectiveness

Survey data suggested that students found the current teaching method of a combined skills trainer and live cannulation is beneficial to their learning experience, they were satisfied with the teaching methods and it provided students with the opportunity to improve their confidence in this core paramedic skill.



Ferguson, D.L., Hanreddy, A., & Draxton, S. Giving students voice as a strategy for improving teacher practice. London Review of Education. 2011; 9(1): 55-70.
Irvine, S., & Martin, J. Bridging the gap from simulation to clinical practice. The Clinical Teacher. 2014; (11): 94-98.
Weller, J.M., Nestel, D., Marshall, S.D., Brooks, P.M., Conn, J.J. Simulation in clinical teaching and learning. The Medical Journal of Australia. 2012; 196(9); 594.
Lund, F., Schultz, J-H., Maatouk, I. Krautter, M., Moltner, A., Werner, A., Weyrich, P., Junger, J., & Nikendei, C. Effectiveness of IV Cannulation Skills Laboratory Training and Its Transfer into Clinical Practice: A Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32831.


Presentation topic

Students – Working in Partnership

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