Can undergraduate paramedic students accurately identify lung sounds?

Brett Williams, Mal Boyle, Peter O'Meara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
203 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction Accurate identification of lung sounds during chest auscultation is a skill commonly used by healthcare clinicians, including paramedics, when assessing a patient's respiratory status. It is a necessary skill as it enables confirmation of a patient's respiratory condition and guides the paramedic to a provisional diagnosis and implementation of appropriate management. The object of this study was to identify if undergraduate paramedic students were able to accurately interpret a variety of lung sounds. Methods A prospective single-blinded observational study requiring 96 undergraduate paramedic students from two Australian Universities to estimate the lung sounds of six audio files. Results The findings demonstrated variable accuracy in lung sound interpretation of the six audio files. The lung sound that contained a wheeze was most accurately interpreted, whilst coarse crackles were the least accurately interpreted. Monash University undergraduate paramedic students displayed similar lung sound interpretations to Charles Sturt University undergraduate paramedic students. Conclusion In this study we have identified that undergraduate paramedic students from two Australian universities are inaccurate at interpreting a variety of common lung sounds. This study has highlighted that a greater emphasis needs be given to lung sound interpretation in undergraduate paramedic education programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-582
Number of pages3
JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Can undergraduate paramedic students accurately identify lung sounds?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this