Raring to go? A cross-sectional survey of student paramedics on how well they perceive their UK pre-registration course to be preparing them to manage suspected seizures.

Adam J. Noble, Carolyn Lees, KAY HUGHES, Lucy Almond, Hesham Ibrahim, Cerys Broadbent, Pete Dixon, Anthony G. Marson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background Paramedics convey a high proportion of seizure patients with no clinical need to emergency departments (EDs). In a landmark study, only 27% of UK paramedics reported being “Very…”/ “Extremely confident” making
seizure conveyance decisions. Improved pre-registration education on seizures for paramedics is proposed. Clarity
is needed on its potential given recent changes to how UK paramedics train (namely, degree, rather than brief vocational course). This study sought to describe UK student paramedics’ perceived readiness to manage seizures and educational needs; compare this to what they report for other presentations; and, explore subgroup differences.
Methods Six hundred thirty-eight students, in year 2 or beyond of their pre-registration programme completed
a cross-sectional survey. They rated perceived confidence, knowledge, ability to care for, and educational needs
for seizures, breathing problems and, headache. Primary measure was conveyance decision confidence.
Results For seizures, 45.3% (95% CI 41.4–49.2) said they were “Very…”/“Extremely confident” to make conveyance
decisions. This was similar to breathing problems, but higher than for headache (25.9%, 95% CI 22.6–29.5). Two
hundred and thirty-nine participants (37.9%, 95% CI 34.1–41.8) said more seizure education was required – lower
than for headache, but higher than for breathing problems. Subgroup differences included students on university based programmes reporting more confidence for conveyance decisions than those completing degree level
apprenticeships.
Conclusions Student paramedics report relatively high perceived readiness for managing seizures. Magnitude
of benefit from enhancements to pre-registration education may be more limited than anticipated. Additional factors
need attention if a sizeable reduction to unnecessary conveyances for seizures is to happen.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date8 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Paramedics
  • Emergency medical services
  • Ambulance
  • Seizures
  • Epilepsy
  • Students
  • Decision making
  • Headache
  • Seizures/diagnosis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • United Kingdom
  • Emergency Medical Services

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