Human factors affect paramedic practice and training. However, although there are frequent references to human factors in the literature, little evidence on this is available on those that influence student paramedic development. In this article, published by the Journal of Paramedic Practice, looks at a case study which highlighted certain human factors unique to the role, most notably how interactions between students and mentors can affect a student's practice. Following this, the awareness and effect of human factors within the student paramedic role were investigated.
- Student paramedic practice, especially in the placement environment, mirrors human factors seen post registration, but also has its own unique set which require further research.
- The relationship between student and mentoring paramedics is a unique and important human factor in student development.
- Many clinicians may not feel prepared or willing to undertake a mentorship role. More training and support for mentoring paramedics would be of benefit.
- Emotional stresses faced by students when they initially encounter emotive aspects of the placement environment should be recoginised. Institutions and placement providers should encourage students to identify and practise coping mechanisms as well as offer support.
- Placement environments vary nationally and globally, and due to the nature of the job, it is difficult to nurture confident students and clinicians. However, adaptions could be made to reduce stresses on both parties.