Community aged care and disability services

We partner with community aged-care and disability services to help place paramedic students in non-emergency ambulance environments.

Paramedic placements within community aged care and disability services are a relatively new and emerging source of clinical experience in the paramedic curriculum. As more research is published about participation in these types of placements, the benefits for paramedic students, the clients and the organisations themselves are becoming apparent. Community aged care and disability services complement and support paramedicine learning.

Benefits of placements in aged-care and disability services

There are many benefits of placements for students, communities, clients, and organisations.

For students

  • Creating work-ready graduates who have had a broad range of clinical experiences.
  • Understanding of the multidisciplinary team working with the older population, people with a disability and the paramedic's role within that team.
  • Insight into the aging process through engagement with clients and staff.
  • Promotion of interpersonal therapeutic relationships, communication skills and compassion.
  • Challenging myths and stereotypes of aged care and disability.
  • Broadening clinical skill base through interprofessional learning experiences, including:
    • health assessments
    • communication skills specific to all clients
    • manual handling of the older people or non-mobile clients
    • decisions to transport or to refer a patient
    • promotion of appropriate clinical decisions based on the experience of the ageing process and older people.

For communities and clients

  • One in seven Australians are aged 65 and older, and one in three older people live in an aged care facility.
  • One in six Australians have a disability, with one in three people having a severe or profound disability.
  • Improving and changing attitudes of future paramedics towards older people and people living with a disability.

For organisations

  • Activities or projects that add value to current services or enhance service capacity.
  • Improved health outcomes for older people and people living with a disability.
  • Enhanced organisational learning culture.
  • Improved relationships between universities and staff.
  • Professional development for staff.
  • Enhanced visibility of the organisation for future health professionals.

Organisational considerations

  • Placement structure is recommended to include observational and assisted clinical, non-clinical and inter-professional learning activities.
  • Reflection activities for the students.
  • Role and scope of health professionals in the community including paramedics.

Placement requirements

A time commitment of 100 hours or over 14 days of clinical placement during the year. Not all hours have to be completed in one placement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this placement, students should be able to:

  • describe the role of community-based and non-emergency health services in a range of environments
  • demonstrate professionalism in a supervised clinical setting and articulate their role and tasks
  • develop and demonstrate communication and team-building skills
  • maintain an effective audit trail of placement through portfolio development
  • demonstrate continual reflection on their practice.