Paramedic students working in snow resort medical clinics: a non-traditional interprofessional clinical placement model

Anthony Scott Devenish, Glenn McKay, David Nicholas Long, Peter David Horrocks, Michael Smith



This study investigates the experiences of undergraduate paramedic students completing interprofessional clinical placements in snow sport injury clinics. Qualitative methods were used to investigate the experiences of participants (n=6) undertaking  non-traditional ambulance clinical placements as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team.  Ethical approval was obtained through Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia. Data were collected via individual face-to-face interviews and analysed using holistic and focused coding. The analysed results indicated the presence of three main categories, namely Pre-Placement, Intra-Placement and Post-Placement phases. As it was a new placement, student capabilities were not initially known by clinic staff. Nevertheless the workplace culture was inclusive and supportive, and paramedic skills were applicable in the clinic environment.  Despite the placement costs being excessive, participants viewed it as an investment in their future careers. Benefits of the placement included perceived improvement in maturity levels, the acquisition of professional networks, an understanding of interprofessional practice and an exposure to clinical skills not normally practiced during traditional ambulance placements. The interprofessional clinical placement appears to be a valid alternative to traditional ambulance placements. However, using this model to replace mainstream placements is problematic due to the costs involved, the limited number of spots available and the seasonal occurrence of snow sports. 


alpine; interprofessional; paramedic; placement; qualitative; student

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