Volume 11 Issue 3

Pride in paramedicine: being an LGBTQ+ paramedic

People identifying as LGBTQ+ make up a part of the paramedic community around the world. In this issue of International Paramedic Practice, we hear from paramedics in Ecuador and the UK about their experiences

Racial disparities in emergency care for seizures in the United States

Background Racial disparities exist regarding emergency medical services, and advanced life support (ALS) is superior to basic life support (BLS) for patients experiencing a seizure. Aims This study aims to identify if there are racial disparities regarding access to ALS care for patients having a seizure. Methods This study analysed 624 011 seizure cases regarding the provision of BLS rather than ALS care per racial group. Chi-square testing was used to check statistical significance and effect size was measured using relative risk. Findings On average, non-white patients experiencing a seizure had a 21% higher relative risk of receiving BLS care than white patients. The highest disparity concerned American Indian patients, who had a 66% higher relative risk of receiving BLS care than white patients. Conclusions Overall, non-white patients are less likely to receive ALS when experiencing a seizure than white patients, potentially leading to worse prehospital outcomes from less access to time-critical medications.

Perceptions of ethical dilemmas in Australian paramedicine

Background: Paramedics experience a range of ethical dilemmas in the course of their work. To date, ethical dilemmas by Australian paramedics have not been documented. With the scope of practice becoming increasingly complex, paramedic education may not have evolved to meet holistic professional demands. Aim: To describe the ethical dilemmas experienced by contemporary Australian paramedics. Methods: An online survey, based on a previous instrument, was used to explore a range of ethical dilemmas. Findings: Paramedics face a range of ethical dilemmas in their everyday practice. While several demographic variables were associated with different perceptions, the results of this study highlight that a paramedic's years of experience is most consistently associated with their perception of ethical dilemmas. Conclusion: Australian paramedics experience a range of ethical dilemmas consistent with previous international findings.Years of experience in the profession features heavily and is relied upon more so than education, suggesting that educational approaches to ethics education in paramedicine need to be reconsidered.

Building ad-hoc team social capital through simulation

The concept of high-functioning healthcare teams is complex and competencies have been developed primarily from aviation. High-functioning healthcare teams, including those formed in an ad-hoc manner, are crucial to positive patient outcomes. Social capital theory identifies structural, cognitive and relational dimensions involved in the formation of trusting, cohesive relationships. Theories of social capital can be used to advise the development of interprofessional simulation-based education. Interprofessional simulation-based education curricula development must focus on the social sciences if it is to promote strong, healthy team relationships. Simulation-based education should take place in learning environments that promote the development of social capital between team members, especially where teams are formed ad hoc.