Undergraduate paramedic students and interpersonal communication development: a scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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The objective of this review is to examine the current literature related to interpersonal communication skill development within undergraduate paramedicine. Interpersonal communication is a vital paramedic skill, with evidence demonstrating it leads to improved patient outcomes and satisfaction and reduces medical errors. Interpersonal communication is a core capability set by paramedicine regulatory bodies, and it is the responsibility of accredited universities to ensure graduates are ready for industry and possess all required skills and attributes. In order to be included in this scoping review, all articles were required to meet a pre-determined ‘population, concept, context’ (PCC) framework. The population was undergraduate paramedic students within the context of their undergraduate paramedicine programs, and the concept was interpersonal communication education/teaching/training. In June 2021, a search was conducted using CINAHL, Medline, Emcare and ERIC. The articles had to be written in English and published between 2011 and 2021 and non-research sources were excluded. 176 articles were identified in this search and after screening for duplicates and relevancy, 15 articles were found to be eligible. The literature highlighted 4 key themes, including graduate perception of ‘work readiness’, and a variety of learning experiences including alternative work integrated learning (WIL), interactions with specific patient groups and professional learning experiences. The literature demonstrated that interpersonal communication skills are fostered through human interactions, WIL and simulation, within undergraduate paramedicine programs. Findings from the literature review indicate that practising communication through human interactions, afford an increase in confidence, awareness of ability and empathy, and an increased awareness of preconceived biases. Intraprofessional and interprofessional simulation teaching methods demonstrate the potential to build students confidence in communication and awareness of what is required to function well in a team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1138
Number of pages26
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


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