• Professionalism in paramedic practice: the views of paramedics and paramedic students

      Gallagher, Ann; Vyvyan, Emma; Juniper, Joan; Snook, Verity; Horsfield, Claire; Collen, Andy; Rutland, Stuart (2016-09)
      Abstract published with permission. Paramedic practice is complex and involves decision-making in situations that are often complex and pressured. A high level of professionalism is required to respond appropriately. There has been little previous research in this area. The aim of the Consensus towards Understanding and Sustaining Professionalism in Paramedic Practice project was to develop an in-depth understanding of professionalism in paramedic practice (CUSPPP). This article reports findings from the qualitative component of the CUSPPP project. Interviews were conducted with clinical managers, specialist paramedics and student paramedics. A favourable ethical opinion was obtained from the University of Surrey Ethics Committee. Data were analysed thematically and three themes identified are discussed in this article: components of paramedic professionalism; professionalism enablers; and professionalism inhibitors. Components of paramedic professionalism include: the conduct of paramedics; the role of regulation; professional education; and values for paramedic practice. Paramedic professionalism enablers and inhibitors relate to three levels: individual, organisational and regulatory/societal levels. On-going education and interventions that promote paramedics’ well-being should be discussed with ambulance trusts and collaboration established to promote the development of educational materials and further research.