This abstract was presented at the 2009 National Association of EMS Educators conference.

Paramedic Student Internship Experience, Critical Thinking, and NREMTCE Success - Phase Two: Are Paramedic students who perform well on Critical Thinking test questions more likely to pass the NREMT Cognitive Exam?

Louise Briguglio, BA; Charles Soucheray, BS; and Catherine Eaton, BA

Introduction: Repeated past research has shown a positive relationship between the number of ALS calls and Team Leads completed during paramedic internship and the likelihood that a student will pass the NREMT Cognitive Exam (NREMTCE). Our research team recently discovered that a student’s critical thinking ability is positively correlated with their ALS and Team Lead internship experience. For the second phase of our research, we examined the relationship between Critical Thinking (CT) ability and paramedic student success on the NREMTCE.

Hypothesis: CT ability is a better predictor of success on the NREMT Cognitive Exam (NREMTCE) than a paramedic student’s Knowledge/recall ability.

MethodsParamedic student OSPE exam results and NREMTCE results were retrospectively collected from FISDAP, an online data collection system. The OSPE is a paramedic exit exam that contains 200 multiple-choice questions, each of which falls into one of the following cognitive domains: Knowledge (i.e. basic recall, identification, etc.), Application, or Problem-solving. Application and Problem-solving questions were considered CT questions. We used logistic regression to determine if the percentage of CT or Knowledge questions answered predicted whether the student passed the NREMTCE.

ResultsInstructors reported NREMTCE results for 473 students who took the OSPE. The percentage of CTQ questions answered correctly was a significant, positive predictor of NREMTCE success (p=0.001). The percentage of knowledge questions answered correctly was not a significant predictor, however (p=0.2709).