The following abstract was developed during the 2007 Research Summit and won the award for Best Research Presentation at the 2007 NAEMSE Symposium.

The Effect of Student Demographics on Field Internship Team Leads

Shonette Doggett, BS, EMT-B; Phil Rach, MS,NREMT-P; Margaret Nowicki, PhD, NREMT-P; David Borrett, BA, NREMT-P; Joshua G. Salzman, MA, EMT-B

Introduction: The National Standard Curriculum requirements recommend paramedic students complete 50 team leads. Previous research has shown students who have fewer preceptors complete a higher number of team leads. We examined the impact student demographic variables have on team leads.

Hypothesis: Age, gender, ethnicity, and number of years certified as an EMT-Basic affect the absolute number and percentage of total runs serving as team leads.

Methods: Student internship data from FISDAP, an Internet-based administrative database, was retrospectively reviewed. Records meeting the following criteria from 2001 to 2006 were included: graduate of a paramedic program, provided consent, data verified by a preceptor, and availability of complete demographic data. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to determine the presence of  associations among absolute number, percentage of total runs serving as team leads, age, and years as an EMT-Basic. A t-test was used to determine if a relationship exists between the absolute number of team leads and gender.

ANOVA was used to determine if an association exists between absolute number of team leads and age, ethnicity, and years certified as an EMT-Basic. ANOVA was also used to determine if a relationship exists between percentage of total runs serving as team leads and gender and ethnicity.

Results: A total of 1,068 student records were included and analyzed. There were no significant relationships detected between the absolute number of team leads and any of the student demographic variables. Male students served as team leads a significantly higher percentage of their overall runs than female students (64% vs. 59%; p = 0.002). Number of years certified as an EMT-Basic was positively associated with the percentage of overall runs served as team leads (r = 0.07; p = 0.02). No significant differences were detected between the percentage of total runs as team leads and ethnicity or age.

Conclusion: Male students appear to team leads a greater percentage of their total runs than female students, and years as an EMT-Basic is positively associated with a higher percentage of runs served as team leads. Preceptors and program directors can use this information to encourage female students and those with fewer certified years as an EMT-Basic to team leads more often.