Volume 7 Issue 3

Pre-hospital medicine: South Africa vs. the United Kingdom

In an introductory overview, the differences and similarities between emergency medicine in South Africa (SA) and the United Kingdom (UK), predominantly in the paramedical area of practice, are explored. The author discussed areas of interest, as well as a potential future direction. The current article focuses on the more prevalent similarities and differences identified. However, it is worth noting that not all trusts and/or organisations work identically regardless of country-specific differences. The author is a paramedic rescuer by background with over 12 years of experience in the medical field, and has lectured for 5 years. He has worked operationally and lectured in both SA and the UK; the discussion in the current article arises as a result of the differences he has encountered during his experience.

Learning about behavioural emergencies: an evaluation of paramedic textbooks

Background: Individuals with behavioural emergencies (mental health or substance-use crises) are being seen more frequently in emergency departments. Therefore, emergency medical service (EMS) providers are increasingly being called upon to respond to such cases. However, research in paramedic education on this topic is limited. Problem: Very little is known about the quality of EMS provider training in this field. While the National EMS Education Standards Instructional Guidelines (NEMSES-IG) outlines a curriculum, no research has examined the textbooks commonly used to cover this. Research question: To what extent do paramedic textbooks include content outlined by the United States (US) NEMSES-IG on the management of behavioural emergencies? Methods: The current study surveyed the textbooks for 305 accredited paramedic training programmes in the US, identifying the 5 most common texts. The textbooks' content was compared by two trained coders against the NEMSES-IG. Results: Findings revealed that the textbooks did not fully cover the components of the NEMSES-IG. Of the five textbooks, chapters on behavioural emergencies varied from covering between 55% and 74% of the educational standards. Conclusions: This study reveals that many of the textbooks are lacking in the area of behavioural emergency management. It highlights the need to improve paramedic education with a greater focus on evidence-based management practices.

Gazing into the crystal ball: pre-hospital care in India

In a personal whistle-stop introduction to pre-hospital care provision in India, Professor Vijayshil Gautam explores its multifaceted systems, with reference to its international context and future potential. From its contextual roots to its contemporary hindrances, how can the future of health care be predicted in such a fast-growing economy?