National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund (NPILF)

Prize: GrantSuccessful


This collaborative project involves co-development, implementation, and evaluation of an innovative, facilitated paramedicine allied health placement model. This innovative model has been developed to address dual challenges of sector wide shortages of paramedicine ambulance placements and increasing scope of paramedicine practice beyond patient transport and emergency presentations. This project extends our current non-facilitated approach to paramedicine allied health placements through a deliberate approach to co-designing and implementing facilitated allied health placements. In this model, paramedicine students will undertake a four (4) week placement with a health service under the supervision of a registered health professional. This may be a registered nurse, occupational therapist, medical doctor, psychologist, radiographer or physiotherapist. It is anticipated that this model will provide increased numbers of high-quality allied health placement experiences for paramedicine students and strengthen university and health service relationships. Project evaluation will occur through tracking placement numbers and comparisons between experiences and perceptions in non-facilitated and facilitated allied health placements from the student, placement provider, and academic perspectives.
This project aligns with the following NPILF priorities:
• Increase the number of internships, practicums, and other innovative approaches to work-integrated learning
• Increase the number of STEM-skilled graduates and improve their employment outcomes
• Support universities to develop and strengthen partnerships with industry
Preliminary discussions and planning with Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) have commenced with intention to develop shared objectives and resources to support the creation and implementation of a successful, collaborative model that is mutually beneficial to the provider and the University. Given current placement shortages and broadening of paramedicine scope of practice, this interprofessional, allied health placement is highly valuable and needs to be efficiently coordinated and effectively utilised. In these health service settings preceptors can foster the growth of students’ understanding of a range of clinical practice areas and support their initiative and development of critical thinking skills. Importantly, the interprofessional allied health placement does not come from a deficit placement model, rather, it is a deliberate and innovative strategy to place Paramedicine students in meaningful workplace contexts that will foster development of a broad range of practice knowledge and skills. This innovative model also provides Port Macquarie based students with opportunities for quality workplace learning experiences whilst remaining within their local geographical footprint and engaging with local area clinicians and educators. This is important not only to support students’ wellbeing while on placement but also to contribute to workforce succession planning as students who undertake WIL in a local area are more likely to seek employment withing the same geographical region.

The interprofessional model is critical in preparing students to enter the health workforce, where teamwork and collaboration are vital in facilitating strategic goals to produce job ready graduates. Students will be placed for a four-week period in a group ratio of four - six students to one clinical facilitator for the duration of the placement. Placements will occur in the Hastings Macleay Clinical Network with possible future expansion to the Coffs Clinical Network. This expansion will be based on project outcomes and availability of resources within the Coffs Clinical Network.
Where possible, students will be allocated during existing ambulance placement blocks of which there are four identified each year limiting impact on competing study priorities. Flexibility of timing will be afforded to the project to allow for timely implementation of the proposed model. Decisions regarding timing of each placement block will be made in consultation with Charles Sturt academics, Charles Sturt WPL professional team and the MNCLHD. Importantly, paramedic placements will not impact or impede nursing placements. These placements are in addition to those agreed to by MNCLHD in other discipline areas.

The primary measurable objectives of the project are aligned with the NPILF funding criteria and the FoSH WIL vision, guiding principles and standards. These are outlined below:

a. Increase the amount of paramedic student allied health placement opportunities by at least 80 days of facilitated clinical placement by the end of the project .

b. All students attending this pilot project will be from within a geographical location of 150km commutable distance from home.

c. Increase in student satisfaction with placement experience: Conduct a survey to gather feedback from students on their placement experience. Set a target for the percentage of students who rate their placement experience as 'good' or 'excellent' and track progress towards that target

As part of the pilot evaluation, the following surveys will be conducted:

Student Survey 1 – will allow students the opportunity to provide feedback specifically related to their experience of WIL with this placement provider.

Student Survey 2 - Students will be surveyed on their experience in workplace learning in relation to the facilitated model comparative to their previous (unfacilitated) placements, and the value (if any) it provided to their learning opportunity and experience. The results will be collated and reported on along with other findings from the project.

Clinical Facilitator and Support Staff Survey – Clinical facilitators and preceptors will be asked to provide feedback via a survey on their experience.

Additional feedback will also be sought from all key stakeholders. This will be included as part of the report post completion of each block.
Degree of recognitionNational
Granting OrganisationsNPILF