Carol Amaratunga reports on the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine's 18th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine, held this year in Manchester
Care for patients suffering from major trauma varies greatly throughout the world. This may range from no response at all, to advanced systems comprising multiple levels of response. Much of the understanding of the management of civilian trauma has been drawn from military experience in times of war. Holistic, integrated trauma systems are well-established in many parts of the developed world. These contemporary trauma systems are complex, can be costly, and are a significant undertaking to establish.Controversy surrounds the level of pre-hospital response, and the in-field skills required to improve patient outcomes. The ideal resourcing for pre-hospital response to trauma is not agreed upon, and requires further investigation. However, significant reductions in morbidity, mortality, suffering and societal burden can be expected following the establishment of an integrated trauma care system. A tiered response, encompassing basic and advanced level providers, who ultimately deliver patients to Major Trauma Centres, appears to be current best practice.
Simulation is increasingly being utilised for pre-hospital professional education in Europe. To ensure this growth continues, it is important that experience is shared throughout Europe to help ‘spread the word’ and share examples of ‘best practice’. The Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine (SESAM) is an organisation which was set up to help facilitate and exchange knowledge about the use of simulation in medical (and paramedical) education throughout Europe. Previous SESAM annual meetings have not attracted significant numbers of delegates from the pre-hospital professions. This could be because previous programmes have not had much direct relevance for this audience. Working with the SESAM executive committee for the 2012 annual meeting in Stavanger, the authors helped co-ordinate a group of European pre-hospital simulation educationalists to create a programme of presentations and workshops designed to be directly relevant to a pre-hospital professional audience. Attendance overall for the 2012 annual meeting in Stavanger was significantly higher than in 2011 and it appears that more pre-hospital professionals attended in 2012 (but this cannot be supported in this paper). The increased emphasis placed on pre-hospital simulation in Stavanger helped create a specific SESAM supported network (Pre-Hospital Special Interest Group or PH-SIG) and this network will help share simulation ‘best practice’ amongst European pre-hospital professionals in the future.
For paramedical practitioners to realise their full potential, national registration is an essential component in gaining recognition by the broader healthcare industry. This paper's purpose is to evaluate if the paramedic industry is considered a profession by informed members of the public in isolation from paramedic culture. An altruistic opportunity exists to engage with the consumer and affording them the opportunity to be commensurate of the issues of registration, with the pretence to improve the delivery of paramedical services. The current literature somewhat examines paramedic professionalisation, by identifying the hallmarks of recognised professions and what may be restricting paramedicine from achieving national registration. The research methodology for this study employed focus groups and purposive interviews. The respondents in the research study were 48 first year students enrolled in the Bachelor of Paramedic Practice degree at the University of Tasmania (Rozelle campus, Sydney). The key thematics illuminated in the research were: that the government, paramedics and paramedicine are all accountable for the implementation of national registration. Tertiary education is synergistic to national registration and has the potential to enhance the quality of service delivery. This research is a significant contribution to paramedicine's literature, as its workforce strives for acknowledgement of their unique niche in the healthcare industry.