Paramedic professionalism: An international examination

Gary Strong, Joseph Acker, Sean Thompson, Kathryn Eastwood, Linda Ross, Brett Williams

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Introduction: The last decade has seen rapid advancement in Australasian paramedic education, clinical practice, and research. Coupled with the movements towards national registration in Australia and New Zealand, these advancements contribute to the paramedic discipline gaining recognition as a health profession. Methods: Using a convenience sample of paramedic students from Whitireia New Zealand (WNZ), Charles Sturt University (CSU) and Monash University (MU) attitudes towards paramedic professionalism were measured using the Professionalism at Work Questionnaire developed by Durham University. The 77 item questionnaire uses a combination of binary and unipolar Likert scales (1=Strongly disagree/5=Strongly agree; Never=1/Always=5). Results: There were 479 who participated in the study, CSU n=272 (56.8%), MU n=145 (30.3%) and WNZ n=62 (12.9%). The sample was 57.6% (n=276) female, predominantly < 25 years of age n=358 (74.7%) and enrolled in year one n=195 (40.7%).Students strongly agreed or agreed with the item "I think of being a paramedic as 'a career', not just 'a job'" (91.4%). Almost 100% (98.7%) of participants either agreed or strongly agreed with item: 'Members of the public expect paramedics to be professional'. Four items produced statistically significant differences p<0.05 between universities, year levels and course type. These included: "Allow my liking or dislike for patients to affect the way I approach them", "Swear around colleagues"™, "Tailor information to a patient's or relative'™s needs" and "Discuss a bad job with family or friends outside work as a way of coping"™. Conclusions: These results suggest that paramedic students are strong advocates of paramedic professionalism and support the need for regulation. This international comparison study provides important information about current students, the next generation of paramedics, who have an opportunity to be agents of change for the paramedic discipline as it attempts to achieve full prof
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventParamedics Australasia International Conference - Canberra, ACT, Australia
Duration: 17 Oct 201319 Oct 2013


ConferenceParamedics Australasia International Conference


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