Paramedic professionalism: the influence of education on acquisition of professional behaviours and values

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Aims: Paramedics are the second most reported profession to the HCPC for fitness to practice. Higher Education, has been cited as an enabler of professionalism. However, inquiry into the influence of the type of education on professionalism in paramedics is lacking. This researched aimed to compare the views of paramedics educated through Higher Education programmes and through vocational training on professionalism. Methods: A questionnaire was used which was constructed of 48 statements graded used a Likert scale and divided into 4 sections; Professionalism, Professional values and behaviours, Educational influence on professionalism & transference of professional behaviours into practice. 394 paramedics were approached to complete the online questionnaire. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and chi-sq test to compare the answers given by the 2 educational groups for each statement. Results: 49 responses were received with an equal balance of paramedics from higher education (%) and vocational training (%). 3 of the 48 statements were found to have a statistically significant difference in response between the 2 groups. Discussion: From this research, it appears that paramedics who entered the register via a vocational training route may not view the need for regulation as a contributor to professionalism. This is concerning in the context of number of paramedic referrals to the HCPC for fitness to practice if a sample of the paramedic population do not consider regulation to be important to their professional conduct. It would also appear that vocationally trained paramedics are more inclined to consider the challenges that occur in the out-of-hospital environment to be a valid reason for demonstrating behaviours not associated with professionalism.Conclusion: Despite progression towards an all graduate profession, Paramedics on the HCPC register have come through a variety of educational routes and their influence on the education of new paramedics is important to understand to support the transition of professional behaviours from the educational institution into practice post-registration.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 13 May 2019


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