CLINICAL AND FIELD EDUCATION
For St. John’s University Emergency Medical Service Institute paramedic students, clinical education represents the most important component of their paramedic education since this is where the student learns to synthesize, cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior). To be effective, their clinical education will integrate and reinforce the didactic and skills laboratory components of the program. Clinical instruction will follow sound educational principles, be logically sequenced to proceed from simple to complex tasks, have specific objectives, and be closely supervised and evaluated.
The ability to serve in the capacity of an entry-level paramedic requires experience with actual patients. The clinical education process enables the St. John’s student to build a database of patient experiences that serves to help in clinical decision making and pattern recognition. A skilled clinical educator will assist the student by pointing out pertinent findings and discussing and focusing the student’s learning. Clinical education preceptors responsibilities include:
- Close supervision of the students during rotation
- Explanation and use of equipment in the units or on the vehicles
- Review of patient progress charts or PCR's with students
- Documentation to the training institute of any student who exhibits questionable performance
Because of the unpredictable nature of emergency medicine, the hospital environment offers two advantages in paramedic education: volume and specificity. In the hospital setting, the paramedic student can see many more patients than is possible in the field. This is a very important component in building up a "library" of patient care experiences to draw upon in clinical decision making.
The use of multiple departments within the hospital enables the St. John’s paramedic student to see an adequate distribution of patient situations. In addition to emergency departments, which most closely approximate the types of patients that paramedics will see, clinical education should take advantage of critical care units, OB/GYN, operating rooms/anesthesia, pediatrics, psychiatric and phlebotomy. This will help assure a variety of patient presentations and complaints.
St. John’s University has established clinical affiliation agreements with institutions and agencies that provide clinical experience under appropriate medical direction and clinical supervision. Students will have access to patients who present common problems encountered in the delivery of advanced pre-hospital emergency care. The clinical site will be periodically evaluated with respect to its continued appropriateness and efficacy in meeting the expectations of the programs. Clinical affiliates should be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Clinical experiences will occur after the student has successfully demonstrated competence in skills, knowledge, didactic, laboratory and scenerio evaluations.