Source Study | Comments courtesy of Matt Zavadsky
Interesting study recently conducted on the EMS professional’s perspectives of Community Paramedicine:
Emergency Medical Services Professionals’ Attitudes About Community Paramedic Programs
Introduction: The number of community paramedic (CP) programs has expanded to mitigate the impact of increased patient usage on emergency services. However, it has not been determined to what extent emergency medical services (EMS) professionals would be willing to participate in this model of care. With this project, we sought to evaluate the perceptions of EMS professionals toward the concept of a CP program.
Methods: We used a cross-sectional study method to evaluate the perceptions of participating EMS professionals with regard to their understanding of and willingness to participate in a CP program. Approximately 350 licensed EMS professionals currently working for an EMS service that provides coverage to four states (Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma) were invited to participate in an electronic survey regarding their perceptions toward a CP program. We analyzed interval data using the Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation as appropriate. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to examine the impact of participant characteristics on their willingness to perform CP duties. Statistical significance was established at p ≤ 0.05.
Results: Of the 350 EMS professionals receiving an invitation, 283 (81%) participated. Of those participants, 165 (70%) indicated that they understood what a CP program entails. One hundred thirty-five (58%) stated they were likely to attend additional education in order to become a CP, 152 (66%) were willing to perform CP duties, and 175 (75%) felt that their respective communities would be in favor of a local CP program. Using logistic regression with regard to willingness to perform CP duties, we found that females were more willing than males (OR = 4.65; p = 0.03) and that those participants without any perceived time on shift to commit to CP duties were less willing than those who believed their work shifts could accommodate additional duties (OR = 0.20; p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The majority of EMS professionals in this study believe they understand CP programs and perceive that their communities want them to provide CP-level care. While fewer in number, most are willing to attend additional CP education and/or are willing to perform CP duties. [West J Emerg Med. 2017;18(4)630-639.]