Browsing Publications - South East Coast Ambulance Service by Subject "Wellbeing"
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Fit to practise: does more need to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of paramedics?Abstract published with permission. Paramedics are exposed to both physiological and psychological stressors that the general population does not typically face. Although there is evidence to show that paramedics can be resilient to these, cardiovascular disease, mental health problems and musculoskeletal injuries are still prevalent among paramedics. Exercise has been shown to reduce the physical demands of lifting for paramedics, but data on the effects in other areas of paramedic life are limited. In the general population, exercise is becoming a popular treatment option for mental health problems. However, the methodologies used are inconsistent and it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions from the data available. A more thorough examination of how regular exercise could positively impact the health and well-being of paramedics, who are key, front-line personnel in the medical services, is an area that requires crucial further research.
The impact of paramedic shift work on the family system: a literature reviewAim: The current review investigates the impacts of paramedic work on the family system. Paramedics are taking time off or leaving through stress, and career decisions could be influenced by this perceived impact. Method: A systematic literature review was conducted and the literature critiqued. Two themes were identified: emotional labour and work-family fit. Results: Paramedics rely on families for emotional support, putting them at risk of vicarious trauma. The historical male coping culture of paramedic practice deters processing at work, detrimentally carrying this processing into the home environment. Additionally, several shift characteristics contribute to work-family conflict, child-rearing conflict and difficulties maintaining a social life. Conclusions: Key organisational culture change is needed from denigrating staff for showing emotions and struggling to find work-life balance, to one that improves experiences at work and therefore at home as well. Recent movement towards almost equal gender balance may present a particular opportunity to deliver culture change. Further research is required to better understand the impact that shift work has on the family. Abstract published with permission.