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Extending the paramedic role in rural Australia : a story of flexibility and innovation

O'Meara, P. F., Tourle, V., Stirling, C., Walker, J. and Pedler, D. 2012, Extending the paramedic role in rural Australia : a story of flexibility and innovation, Rural and remote health, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 1-13.

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Title Extending the paramedic role in rural Australia : a story of flexibility and innovation
Author(s) O'Meara, P. F.
Tourle, V.
Stirling, C.
Walker, J.
Pedler, D.
Journal name Rural and remote health
Volume number 12
Issue number 2
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Australian Rural Health Education Network
Place of publication Deakin West, A. C. T.
Publication date 2012-04
ISSN 1445-6354
Keyword(s) ambulance
Australia
emergency
EMS
paramedic
Summary Introduction: This article identifies trends in the evolving practice of rural paramedics and describes key characteristics, roles and expected outcomes for a Rural Expanded Scope of Practice (RESP) model.

Methods: A multiple case study methodology was employed to examine the evolution of rural paramedic practice. Paramedics, volunteer ambulance officers and other health professionals were interviewed in four rural regions of south-eastern Australia where innovative models of rural paramedic practice were claimed to exist. The research team collected and thematically analysed the data using the filter of a sociological framework throughout 2005 and 2006.

Results: The study found that paramedics are increasingly becoming first line primary healthcare providers in small rural communities and developing additional professional responsibilities throughout the cycle of care.

Conclusions: Adoption of the RESP model would mean that paramedics undertake four broad activities as core components of their new role: (1) rural community engagement; (2) emergency response; (3) situated practice; and (4) primary health care. The model’s key feature is a capacity to integrate existing paramedic models with other health agencies and health professionals to ensure that paramedic care is part of a seamless system that provides patients with well-organized and high quality care. This expansion of paramedics’ scope of practice offers the potential to improve patient care and the general health of rural communities.
Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Australian Rural Health Education Network
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30047406

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Population Health
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.