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G30(P) Enhancing the preparedness of paramedic students for managing children presenting with congenital cardiac conditions in the pre-hospital setting through an online multimedia educational package
  1. P Gregory
  1. Institute of Health Professions, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK


Paramedics are the front line clinicians in the delivery of prehospital emergency and urgent care in the UK and they face multiple challenges due to the unpredictability of their workload and the diversity of calls. Recently, proposed changes to children’s cardiac services have prompted concerns that paramedics may attend an increasing number of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) at home, although CHD may not be taught in pre-registration paramedic courses. Aim: This study set out to explore how much knowledge student paramedics have surrounding CHD; how prepared they feel for managing children with CHD and the extent to which an online multimedia educational package could enhance the preparedness of paramedic students for managing children with CHD. Method: An action research approach was adopted that firstly identified what paramedic students already knew and how confident they felt in managing these children and their families through a Focus Group (n = 8). An online multimedia learning tool was then developed and made available for the students, who were asked to provide feedback via an online questionnaire after completing the activities. Results: The focus group participants were concerned that they did not know where best to take a child with CHD during an emergency. The group expressed that they had very little knowledge about CHD and what knowledge they did have had generally been derived from lay sources. Students also expressed concern about interacting with parents in relation to the parent’s expectations, the parents’ knowledge of their child’s condition and transportation issues. All of the focus group participants completed the online multimedia educational package. However only 4 of the participants (50%) responded to the online evaluation questionnaire despite reminder emails; the results may not therefore be representative of the entire group of participants. Factors impacting upon the completion of the questionnaire will be discussed. Conclusion: There is clearly a need to address paramedic students’ knowledge and preparedness for managing children with complex CHD in the pre-hospital setting and communicating effectively with their families. Implications for future development of the educational tool will be discussed.

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