ERIC Number: EJ1093844
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Experience, Knowledge and Attitudes: Are Paramedic Students Prepared to Care for Older Patients?
Ross, Linda; Jennings, Paul; Williams, Brett
Educational Gerontology, v42 n4 p241-252 2016
As the population ages, so does the number of older patients encountered by paramedics. It is vital that paramedics are adequately prepared to meet the unique and growing needs of these patients. Experience and education play key roles in the formation of attitudes that impact behavior, and ultimately patient care. The aim of this study was to determine the level of student paramedic experience with knowledge of, and attitudes toward, older adults and to examine the relationship between these factors. This was a cross-sectional study utilizing three paper-based questionnaires; Experience with Older Adults Questionnaire, Australian Facts on Aging Quiz 2 (FAQ2), and Aging Semantic Differential (ASD). Of the 871 paramedic student participants, 79% had an oldest living grandparent 65 years old or above, and 63% had encountered older adults on clinical placement. The mean (SD) score for the FAQ2 was 12.7 (3.0) out of a possible 25, indicating a low level of knowledge about older people. The mean (SD) score for the ASD was 120.3 (17.77), indicating slightly positive attitudes toward older adults. Knowledge (ß = -0.06; p = 0.058) and experience (ß = -0.06; p = 0.058) had weak associations with attitudes. Student paramedics have some prior experience with older adults, relatively low knowledge and generally positive attitudes. There is some association between these factors; however, the impact on patient care requires further investigation. Paramedic educators should strive to provide students with broad quality experiences and education that increases awareness and understanding of older people.
Descriptors: Allied Health Occupations Education, Older Adults, Patients, Student Experience, Student Attitudes, Case Studies, Questionnaires, Semantic Differential, Aging (Individuals), Knowledge Level, Attitude Measures, Undergraduate Students, Foreign Countries, Statistical Analysis, Correlation, Multiple Regression Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Aging Semantic Differential; Facts on Aging Quiz