Module code: RMH3025-N
Module title: Dissertation: Using Evidence to Improve Paramedic Practice
Academic Level: Level 6
Date: September 21
Welcome to the Dissertation Module
Welcome to the dissertation module. Undertaking your dissertation will help you to consolidate and synthesise the skills and knowledge you have gained throughout your programme. More specifically, you will be facilitated to synthesise your learning as you apply your research-related knowledge to identify a researchable problem, and plan and execute a systematic review project.
Key lectures will be delivered followed by supervisory and student-led tutorials as a forum to discuss and debate issues surrounding all aspects of the systematic review project, development, and management. E-learning@tees will be utilised as a repository for learning materials and to support communication. All students will be expected to maintain contact with their supervisor a minimum of twice per Semester. The purpose of these supervisory sessions is to ensure that the project is advancing as anticipated. Where appropriate you will be encouraged to publish your systematic review in a peer review journal, and support with publication will be provided by supervisors; however, the publication of your work is not part of the assessment but will provide an opportunity to advance the paramedic evidence-base.
Completing a dissertation can be challenging and you will need to plan and manage your time effectively to succeed; past students have found that the key to success is early and continuous engagement with supervisors. Despite the challenges, most students find that investigating a topic of interest, in depth, is a rewarding experience. Your supervisor will be your main source of support.
– Personal and Transferable Skills
1. Communicate clearly, fluently and effectively in written and verbal formats appropriate for the academic level.
2. Make evidence-based decisions from the synthesis of a body of evidence.
– Research, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills
1. Critically use appropriate comprehensive and detailed knowledge of critical review methodology.
2. Analyse, appraise and evaluate research evidence from a range of sources to make independent judgements and to inform paramedic practice.
– Professional Skills
1. Appraise the key methodological concerns from published research relevant to paramedic practice.
2. Plan and conduct a structured literature search to identify research evidence relevant to the focused question.
The presentation of your dissertation (component 1) will a combination of the ‘Author Guidance’ from your chosen Paramedic Journal, and the School of Health & Life Sciences guidelines for presentation and referencing. Essentially, the dissertation content and structure (heading/sub-heading) will be based on the Journal that you select. A dissertation template/exemplar can be found in Appendix 4, page on page 21. For the dissertation pre-recorded poster-viva (component 2) it will provide you with a PowerPoint Template, outlining the structure and content of the poster-viva – which should be formatted using the School of Health & Life Sciences guidelines for presentation and referencing.
Possible Dissertation Formats
Again, the specific format of your own systematic review is based on the journal you have chosen. Each journal may have a slightly difference style/structure – which you must replicate. I would recommend looking at these journals; however, other may be more suitable to your topic area:
– British Paramedic Journal
– Emergency Medicine Journal
– Journal of Paramedic Practice
General Guide independent study for Systematic Review, and poster content.
– Aims / focused question
o Study methodology
o Review criteria
o Search strategy
o Selection of studies
o Assessment of Quality
o Data Extraction
o Data analysis methods
Top tip: I would strongly recommend that you find a published systematic review in the journal you have identified and use this as a template for the completion of your own work. The topic of the template does not matter; use the structure (not the content) of this to map out your own journal article.
Finding/using dissertation templates – what do I need to do?
Below is a list of the content that will be delivered, provided through Blackboard, and where you will need to actively, and independently source support:
1. Find several published systematic review examples to use – these are excellent examples/templates of exactly what is expected for component 1.
a. Choose 1 (or more) of the, roughly, 33,700 published. paramedic systematic reviews, to use as a template (search Google Scholar).
2. Look at the “Author Guidance” from the journal you have chosen – this outlines the specific structure for the systematic review.
a. Search and find a systematic review published in this journal you have chosen, to use a template.
3. Use the detailed, universal checklist template for all systematic review types (the PRISMA checklist).
4. Find one of the many published systematic review protocols (a published plans how to complete a systematic review).
5. Through the taught sessions we will provide a ‘live’ breakdown’ of a published systematic review.
6. A general structure is provided in the Module Guide – this is a rough outline.
7. A key lecture and video introducing all the above, where questions were asked and answered will be provided.
What about the Research Methods?
It is important to remember when completing your dissertation that you will need to know why you have chosen the processes / methods you have. This information is not traditionally reported in a journal article – but you must still know it. You will be questioned about these processes for the poster-viva (component 2).
Assessment Strategy / Criteria
Component 1 (50%): Summative assessment will be a 4,000-word systematic review which is focused on an area of paramedic practice, and written in the format of a specific, chosen paramedic journal. (The exception to this will be that the maximum word count is set at 4,000 words.) Students will identify an answerable focused question related to paramedic practice and critically appraise relevant literature. The literature will then be synthesised and the implications for practice discussed. Assesses all learning outcomes. Please note, there is no allowance of 10% over. Tables/graphs in the results section are not included. The references cited in text are included in the word count.
Component 2 (50%): A 30-minute pre-recorded poster-viva derived from the student’s systematic review. The poster presentation will focus on the: 1. Clinical topic of the systematic review; 2. The research methods processes of conducting a systematic review. I have created a PowerPoint template that you may use, and edit, to complete this component.
Students will be required to adhere to a standardised structured format with regards to the presentation of their project – as indicated by the chosen journal submission author guidelines.
Component 1 – The assignment will be assessed according the student’s ability to:
1. Generate an appropriate focused question relevant to paramedic practice.
2. Demonstrate a comprehensive detailed knowledge of the specialist area of paramedic practice and question orthodox practice using balanced, logical and supported arguments.
3. Conduct an appropriate search strategy and select relevant studies for inclusion in the review.
4. Evaluate the quality of the selected studies using appropriate frameworks.
5. Extract, synthesise, appraise and evaluate data/evidence from diverse sources and make independent judgements.
6. Apply, analyse, and evaluate the impact of empirical, theoretical, ethical and legal issues relevant to the generation of knowledge in the specialist area for paramedic practice.
7. Adhere to the chosen journals author guidelines for presentation and referencing.
Component 2 – The assignment will be assessed according the student’s ability to:
1. Provide a comprehensive overview and critical justification for the process that was undertaken in component 1.
2. Discuss the impact of empirical, theoretical, ethical, and legal issues relevant from the generation of knowledge in the specialist area for paramedic practice.
3. Demonstrate intellectual flexibility by answering questions in relation to their journal article and through a critical discussion.
4. Adhere to the School of Health & Life Sciences guidelines for presentation and referencing.