Road-Ready Paramedics and the Supporting Sciences Curriculum

Document Type

Journal Article




Computing, Health and Science


Nursing, Midwifery & Postgrad. Medicine/Systems and Intervention Research Centre for Health




This article was originally published as: Willis, E., Williams, B., Brightwell, R. F., O'Meara, P., & Pointon, T. (2010). Road-ready paramedics and the supporting sciences curriculum. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal, 11(2), 1-13. Original article available here


The curriculum for health professional education in the university sector draws on disciplines of direct practical relevance to clinical performance such as anatomy and physiology, evidence based knowledge, and the supporting sciences. The supporting sciences include interpersonal skills, counselling, ethics, law, psychology, sociology, management and politics. The relevance of these knowledge domains is often called into question by students and in some cases practitioners. Drawing on qualitative data from interviews and focus group discussions with paramedics that identified lack of graduate maturity and road-readiness as a major gap in university based education we make two arguments based on Benner’s pedagogical theories. First, that universities can only produce novices; and second, that a more overt integration between clinical skills, clinical evidence and the supporting sciences would facilitate the transition from novice to beginning practitioner.