Exploring the Use of Social Media and the Associated Ethical Considerations in Paramedic Education
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Social Media (SM) is ubiquitous in paramedic students’ personal learning environment. SM has the potential to add value as an educational tool. However there are disadvantages such as not being accepted as formal learning tools and potential for inappropriate use. The purpose is to explore how paramedic students and paramedic educators use SM, and the associated ethical considerations, in paramedic education. The study was conducted in the interpretative paradigm using a mixed methods approach. A sequential qualitative then quantitative strategy was employed to interview educators and survey students respectively. Data from the interviews was used in the construction of the survey questionnaire. 90% of students want to use SM for their paramedic studies. YouTube (72.5%), WhatsApp (47.5%) and Medical applications (47.5%) are the most highly used SM applications. 70% of students use SM to gain further knowledge and improve their understanding. 54.5% spend more than one hour per day using SM for education. At least 60% of all students are aware of the SM policy at some level. 77.5% of students know how to behave ethically when using SM for paramedic studies. Participants highlighted the need for a specific SM guide and additional SM ethics training in paramedic education.