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Paramedic student anxiety levels towards concepts in pharmacology at a regional university in Australia
journal contributionposted on 07.03.2018, 00:00 by Matthew CaffeyMatthew Caffey, JW Crane, MF Ireland
© 2016, Paramedics Australasia. All rights reserved.Introduction Science-based subjects have a long history of inducing stress and anxiety among many health care students. While there has been substantial research conducted across many allied health courses, very little research has examined the impact of pharmacology stress in paramedic students. In this study we set out to explore the perceived anxiety levels to various topics in second-year university applied pharmacology. Methods Using a paper based questionnaire conducted at the start and end of the teaching semester in a second year applied pharmacology subject, students were asked to record their perceived levels of anxiety to concepts and scenarios in applied pharmacology. Students ranked areas of anxiety from highest to lowest and were able to respond with short answers. Results A total of 140 students completed the questionnaire. Calculating dosages and understanding the mechanism of action ranked high with 69% and 70% of students respectively scoring 4 or 5 out of 5. Other areas such as contraindications and side effects scored lower (28% and 24%, respectively) with indications scoring only 11%. By the end of the semester students still reported high anxiety levels towards calculating drug concentrations, remembering all medications and understanding pre-existing patient medications. Conclusion The results of this study indicate that students commence and leave with high levels of perceived anxiety towards various aspects of pharmacology. This outcome suggests that further pedagogical tools could be employed to assist students to lessen this anxiety to assist the students in better understanding the material to ensure confident graduates.