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The majority of prescription errors involve junior doctors and many result from serious dosing errors. According to UKCAT, it is presumed that doctors, who are commonly required to make calculations in their clinical work, are well equipped to do so, based on the fact that they are highly selected, intelligent and have undertaken scientific training. In fact, only a proportion of medical school entrants have pursued mathematics to the end of their schooling, and basic numeracy skills have only recently become a criterion for entry into medical school, and barely feature in undergraduate summative assessments. Medical students are typically given limited encouragement to practice and develop numeracy. Moreover, in recent years there has been reduced emphasis on the traditional scientific disciplines that previously fostered such skills, for example in biochemistry or pharmacology practical classes. This calls in for a study into the situation to seek for ways into changing the situation, because of the risk that is involved especially when it comes to emergency cases. Goal To improve the competence of paramedic students in calculating drug dosage for patients in relation to their weight. To carry out a study in various health facilities as from January to march 2012, to measure the competence of paramedic students in the calculating drug dosages for patients of different weights.
The basic method that will be used in carrying out this study will involve having interviews with sampled paramedic students and patients in the selected this hospitals that are within this region. Also a number of questionnaires will be sent by post and the distribution team to selected hospitals that that are not within this region.
Materials and resources required: List of 4 hospitals and medical facilities in this region that will be used in the research. A list of ten hospitals and medical facilities, 3 from across the border and 7 from various regions of the country. A comprehensive draft of the questions that will be used for the interviews. A soft copy of the questionnaire that will be duplicated according to the statistical sample number that will be provided by the statistician. Approval of the study by the respective institutional ethics committee in accordance with European Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (ICH guideline for good clinical practice: consolidated guidance). A statistician to carry out the data evaluation. Prior training to the team to carryout interviews, on the way to frame the questions that will be used during the interviewing process and what information to gather. Study Plan The interviewing process will be aimed at identifying and collecting data from a sample of 4 paramedic students from the medical institution. Also interviews will be carried on 10 patients in each institution, who had earlier attention of paramedic students to provide a ascertain diversity of the data collected. The patients will be interviewed on whether they had their body weight measured before being prescribed drug dosage, for those who had this done how often was it carried across their consecutive visits to the hospitals. Also the patients should be able to ascertain whether this was dependent on the medical officer or was part of the
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