Paramedic program entrance exams as a predictor of student success [abstract] Abstract uri icon
  • Introduction: Participation in paramedic education can be costly and stressful. Programs are often judged on attrition and have limited resources for advising and remediation. Predicting students who are good candidates for paramedic training would be helpful to students, sponsoring employers, and the programs. Some experts have suggested that reading and science scores are linked to success. Some entrance examinations have been used, but there is no evidence to suggest what these examinations should screen for, or if such screening is useful. Hypothesis: Basic education and stress-level scores on a paramedic program entrance examination predict paramedic student success. Methods: Two programs using the FISDAP national database of prospectively reported internship experiences and the Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test (HOBET) were identified. The HOBET is a standardized admission examination designed to evaluate a potential student’s ability to enter and successfully complete an allied health education program. Participating programs reported student results on the HOBET, FISDAP, and comprehensive paramedic exam (CPE) and, if appropriate, cause for attrition. Logistic regression was performed to determine which section of the HOBET (math, reading, science, critical thinking, stress) was most predictive of first-time success on the CPE. Only de-identified data from students who signed informed consent forms was included. Approval was obtained from the lead investigator’s institutional review board. Results: This study considered data from 280 students. An analysis of each section of the HOBET found that the basic science score is significant (odds ratio [OR] = 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03–1.09). Because of a change in test structure, basic science scores were not available for all students, resulting in a smaller sample size of 147. Of this sample, 46.3% (68) passed the CPE on the first attempt. A separate logistic regression analysis excluding basic science scores showed no significant association between passing the CPE and the other sections of the HOBET (Wald chi-square [5 df] = 7.5, p = 0.18). Conclusion: Basic science is the only portion of the paramedic program entrance examination that predicts success on the CPE.

  • publication date
  • 2011
  • published in
  • Education, Medical
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Students
  • Additional Document Info
  • 15
  • issue
  • 4