Ambulance Services (Graduate Paramedics) – Success Factors

Application

The recruitment and selection of graduate paramedics is a protracted process. There been a transition from vocational education and training to university degree and double degree education to strengthen the position of paramedics as allied health professionals. In addition, the 12 month long graduate paramedic induction programs are a vital prerequisite for graduates in gaining organisational knowledge and familiarity in key competencies in order to progress to an advanced care paramedic.

The induction program process can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty for both the graduates and their mentors/trainers or more experienced advanced care paramedics who coach and work alongside graduate paramedics. This phase is critical in 1) developing graduate paramedic’s understanding of organisational standards and expectations, 2) applying clinical theory across a wide range of practical settings and developing other professional skills such as communication, documentation and effective interpersonal skills and relationships. Thus, the selection process prior to the entry in the induction program often entails multiple hurdles, which includes but is not limited to: graduate portfolio, medical and functional testing, police checks, and interviews as well as psychometric testing.

 

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Dimensions

The Success Factors Ambulance Services (Graduate Paramedics) test set comprises of the following dimensions and abilities:

Dimensions

Ability Definition

Duration in minutes

Critical thinking

Capacity involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions (e.g. assessing a situation, determining the nature and severity of the problem and calling upon the required knowledge and experience to provide a response that is in the best interest of the patient/s)

approx. 20

Arithmetical competence

Capacity to efficiently perform basic mental arithmetic (e.g. using multiplication, division, fractions, and percentages), and to convert information and statistics into a set of numerical data and draw valid and logical conclusions based on it (e.g. administering relevant dosage of medication based on patient demographics such as weight)

approx. 10

Literacy (vocabulary and comprehension)

Capacity to read, understand and conceptualise written or orally communicated material as well as to coherently convey verbal information (e.g. legible reporting and documentation of client records, or communicating effectively with patients)

approx. 20

Multi-dimensional resilience (performance measure)

Capacity or the extent to which an individual is able to withstand stress. That is, the degree to which resilience, performance and mental state remain unaffected in a stressful situation (e.g. dealing with physically ill/hurt, and distressed patients without compromising focus, judgment or physical responses)

approx. 25

Concentration and attention

Capacity to direct and maintain one’s attention on a single or multiple visual and auditory information, targets, messages or tasks while ignoring internal and environmental distractions (e.g. maintains alertness and focus whilst driving or operating an ambulance vehicle and medical equipment)

approx. 10

Hand-eye co-ordination

The ability required for hand eye co-ordination in controlling the movement of an object using motor abilities (e.g. manipulate, handle and operate medical equipment and hand tools such as syringe apparatuses and forceps competently

approx. 5

Emotional intelligence and pro-social characteristics

Capacity to perceive emotions, access and generate emotions to assist thought and decision making process, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth, as well as the capacity to demonstrate empathy, build rapport, and communicate in a manner that is aligned to individual needs and backgrounds

approx. 40

Total length of the test set

approx. 130