Paramedic student and preceptor experiences of a clinical facilitator model during ambulance clinical placements: A qualitative study




ambulance, clinical facilitator, clinical placement, paramedicine, work-integrated learning


Introduction: Ambulance service clinical placements are fundamental to paramedicine student education, but the quality and safety of these placements can be highly variable. Inspired by positive results from a nursing facilitator model, this study reports on a collaboration between an Australian university and ambulance service that introduced a paramedic clinical facilitator for undergraduate paramedic students during their ambulance clinical placements. This article describes the experiences of a clinical facilitator model for paramedicine students and their preceptors during the study period.  

Methods: This study follows an exploratory qualitative research methodology. After implementation of the paramedic clinical facilitator model, two focus groups with paramedicine student participants and two semi-structured interviews with their paramedic preceptors were conducted. Intimate observations were recorded in a reflexive logbook by the facilitator, which was kept for data analysis. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants, and thematic analysis was used to code data and conceptualise themes.

Results: Three broad overarching themes were conceptualised from the data: 1) increased educational opportunities, 2) improved clinical placement management and 3) greater student support and welfare. Both paramedicine students and paramedic preceptors felt that the paramedic clinical facilitator model improved the quality of ambulance clinical placements for undergraduate paramedicine students.

Conclusion: This study suggests that a paramedic clinical facilitator model improved the safety and quality of ambulance clinical placement experience for paramedicine students and preceptors. Universities and ambulance services could consider implementing a paramedic facilitator model for ambulance clinical placements in their local contexts.


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How to Cite

Langford, L., Pearce, J., & Lenson, S. (2024). Paramedic student and preceptor experiences of a clinical facilitator model during ambulance clinical placements: A qualitative study. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 25(2), 1–19.