Volume 9 Issue 1

Language barrier and its implications for practice in Kuwait prehospital settings

Objectives: The purpose of this research was to explore the implications of language barrier among emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics in a prehospital setting in Kuwait. Methods: A small-scale exploratory case study was carried out using a qualitative method. Focus group interviews were conducted with prehospital providers in Kuwait. An inductive thematic analysis was performed whereby themes and sub-themes emerged from within the data. Results: The data revealed that language barrier has a direct effect on healthcare delivery with implications for an unpleasant patient experience, time delay and misdiagnosis; professional implications which include the need to enhance learning through communication and training to improve practice and support with translation; and personal implications including declining efficiency level, negative socio-emotional impact and physiologic response. Conclusion: This study contributes to the scarcity of available research determining the effects and implications of language barrier for EMTs and paramedics in a prehospital setting in Kuwait. It brings the deficiencies of the Kuwait emergency medical services (EMS) to light, as language disparities affect prehospital providers and their quality of work. Strategies for overcoming the language barrier, implemented by the respondents in this study, form a basis for the Kuwait EMS to address unexplored issues that could potentially improve prehospital practice. While the findings may not be generalisable, they may be transferable to other areas of practice with comparable situations where healthcare providers face challenges when communicating with their patients.

Work integrated learning in Vanuatu: student perspectives

Background: Non-traditional work integrated learning (WIL) experiences have become increasingly popular within undergraduate paramedicine programmes, partly because WIL is considered a valid pedagogy that contributes to the integration of clinical and supporting science capabilities. Aim: This paper builds upon previous WIL evaluation activities to determine whether an international WIL experience in Vanuatu provided a useful clinical and cultural learning experience for undergraduate paramedicine students. Methods: A 60-question survey was administered to participants, with questions chiefly focusing on clinical and cultural experiences during this overseas trip. Survey response frequencies have been presented and free-text responses have been used to provide further descriptive detail. Findings: This international WIL experience appears to have provided a very useful clinical and cultural learning experience for undergraduate paramedicine students. Discussion: Consideration should be given to further evaluation activities, and the development of a validated survey instrument, to more effectively measure the quality of non-traditional WIL programmes.

Global patient experience of paramedic practice

Background: Paramedics occupy an ever-increasing role within healthcare and the development of this role should be informed by the voice of patients. This systematic literature review seeks to explore patient experience during a paramedic intervention. Methods: Using a ‘state of the art’ review style, a systematic search was conducted of the literature published between 2006 and 2018. Following PRISMA guidelines, a total of seven articles meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. A definition of experience which incorporates several dimensions was used to frame the search. Results: Three themes were identified, with the available literature focusing mainly on satisfaction. Satisfaction is improved through certainty and clarity of the progression through treatment and is high among patients of paramedics. Conclusion: Our understanding of patient experience in paramedic interventions is largely limited to an understanding of satisfaction. While this may provide some useful insights, other facets such as the lived experience and physiologic aspects are underrepresented in the current evidence base.