Role of paramedics and regulation Essay Example

Role of paramedics and regulation 17

Role of paramedics and regulation

Role of Paramedics and Regulation

  1. Do you think it is important to recognise the role of Paramedics in healthcare? (yes) Explain why?

Paramedics continue to have an expanding role in society (Reeve et al, 2008). As these authors further state, paramedics remain an important resource particularly in communities with highest need. They could be regarded as part of multidisciplinary health teams in situations where there is shortage of workforce. More evidence reveal that a health care system that has been modelled on chronic care as well as interdisciplinary teams greatly benefits patients with chronic illness (Reeve et al, 2008). Again, multidisciplinary teams have proved to be more effective in providing medical solutions to rural and remote workforce shortages. O’Meara et al (2012) also find evidence of the increasing role of paramedics in provision of primary care healthcare in small rural communities in addition to their professional responsibilities across the cycle of care. In their recommendation of the Rural Expanded Scope of Practice (RESP) model, these authors mention four critical components of the roles of these practitioners. These include rural community engagement, situated practice, primary health care and emergency response. These authors point out that the increasing significance of paramedic services have been fuelled by the concerning long-term recruitment and retention challenges among rural health workforces that has resulted to inequitable health service access for communities in the rural areas. As a result, emerging flexible healthcare models are increasingly effective, including Expanded Scope of Practice (ESP) paramedic roles (Stirling et al, 2007).

With the increasing relevance of paramedic services across communities as has been discussed above, there is need to recognize the role of paramedics in health care, not just because of their flexibility, but the effectiveness of their services during emergencies. The situated practice that involves assessment, treatment and release of patients emphasizes their importance. These practitioners also have the necessary skills needed for transporting patients to hospitals and giving first aid. Paramedics, in their primary healthcare integration, will also engage in health promotion, preventive services and treatment of minor injuries and are therefore very important to society.

  1. Select 3 propositions and outline how these may impact the role of Paramedic’s

Proposition 1: designation of the paramedic services as a component of healthcare and provision of funding as well as other performance outcomes.

Paramedics have offered services in some of the most difficult working environments with little support and motivation from the governments. For improved services, it is necessary that these services are designated as critical components of healthcare. This will cause the governments to put great weight in paramedic services and treat it with more importance. Increased concern from the government will mean that the practice will benefit from government support to perform better in the multidisciplinary environment that it does and creation of a sustainable national paramedic workforce. There will be better mobilization of service providers who will also receive numerous incentives like other nominated health professionals to enhance rural and regional practice.

If the government will provide funding, then paramedics will greatly improve quality of service and effectiveness. The high administrative costs as well as significant disparities in funding and quality of care have been common in the paramedics practice. These have not less to motivate and enhance service provision. Government funding will certainly improve service provision and extend the roles of paramedics

Proposition 2: accredited providers of PS to operate under a national licensing

Accreditation will ensure that only qualified providers of paramedic services are allowed to continue with service and therefore assure the public of quality services. There will be better regulation of the roles carried out by the paramedics and therefore the industry. Since the recommendations propose accreditation against nationally benchmarked safety and service standards, it will be possible to ensure equal and universal standard service to all citizens of Australia. Paramedics will have to ensure that their services are offered in the most professional manner that will result to greater chances of survival and recovery of patients. This proposition also recommends that performance auditing is done for those entities operating as public service providers. Performance auditing of public service providers will mean that services will have to be offered professionally, in a manner that will comply with expectations and standards set by regulatory bodies. Service providers will aim to record beyond doubt performances that will ensure satisfied customers.

Proposition 6: contribution of PS to national healthcare objectives

This proposition means that paramedics will need to accurately report on their service provision and develop efficient information systems that will demonstrate the contribution of the practice to the national healthcare objectives. The role of paramedics will extend to the compilation of specific data that will be linked to paramedic service finding and performance. The performances and outcomes will also need to be publicly announced within the datasets of the relevant regulatory bodies and this will mean that paramedics will have to enhance their reporting and compilation roles.

To successfully perform these requirements, paramedics will have extensively broad roles that will ensure increased provisions of recognised healthcare services that will be considered to contribute to the national objectives. Public reporting will again enhance public trust and support on the important roles of the paramedics, and therefore increase the acceptance of these professionals by greater populations of the public. Since they will be required to give reports, the service providers are likely to enhance performance to meet the public expectations in the best manner possible.

  1. State the benefits associated with option 4 and why it is a better option

This option has been found to facilitate increased levels of oversight and regulation of the paramedic practice in accordance with national standards and is considered to have the potential of greatly reducing the risk of harm to the citizens as far as their clinical and patient safety is concerned. Option 4 has also been found to address all the seven of the Paramedic Australia risk reduction factors. National registration is believed have the potential to result to an efficient national labour market. It will reduce costs of mobility through national registers and registration documents. This option will also provide local firms and paramedics with clear statements of standing internationally and enable inward and outward movement of professionals.

Other options have presented several other benefits, but option 4 introduces a comprehensive approach that addresses most of the concerns of stakeholders. This regulation can help in the creation of an environment that will increase responsibility as well as public accountability in a manner that will reduce public risk. This option is better since it eliminates the costs related to having to record and check fitness for employment every time for paramedics who cross jurisdictional boundaries. It also takes advantage of the already established NRAS and will use the information technology, accommodation and staffing systems already in place.

  1. current regulation/registration process and requirements for Paramedics in:

In England, all paramedics are required to have registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC). In this country, it is unlawful to use this title or for anyone to employ a practitioner to offer these services if the individual is not registered. The paramedics are further needed to re-register every three years. During this three years period, they are required to have engaged in continuous professional development (CPD) programs and must have evidence of having done so. This requirement of continuous learning means that practitioners are expected to learn and unlearn quickly and effectively so as to develop in their present scope of practice, understand their role and the relationship of what they do with what other health professionals do, and to be able to vary their scope of professional practice. In England, it is policy requirement that professionals in health services assume responsibility for self regulation.

Texas in America

In Texas, there are five levels of certification, the highest being the licensed paramedic, followed by EMT-P. Other certifications include EMT-intermediate, EMT-basic and lastly, the emergency care attendant (ECA). EMS degree programs are provided, though several other courses are offered through technical programs. Within Texas, these trainings are approved and monitored by authorised staff throughout the state. Only those who have passed the NR exam are eligible for state certification.

  1. Which registration process/requirements do you prefer? Why?

I prefer the process in England. The registration process and requirements are clear for England. Again, the practice is so organized in the country in a manner that has enabled easy regulation. In England, as has been mentioned above, practitioners are required to re-register every three years after completion of continuous professional development. This requirement means that at all times, the practitioners in the register are updated on current trends in the industry and are at a better position to effectively carry out their duties. The industry in England has placed great importance on public satisfaction and practitioners are expected to perform with necessary skill and knowledge that cements public confidence. In this way, the regulatory mechanism is self reinforcing. According to policy, health care professionals set their own performance standards of practice, their conduct and discipline. The result is great efficiency and high performance standards across the country.

In England, there are professional bodies that only set the standards, like the College of Paramedics. Other registrant bodies, like HPC, ensure that these standards are enforced. The clear allocation of responsibilities has helped the country effectively enforce an efficient industry that has been regulated with ease. Registration has been aimed at protecting the public from unprofessional service provision. To this effect, paramedics are accountable for their acts as well as those of other practitioners they work with. They therefore, have a responsibility to report poor practice, failure to which they may get sanctioned by the HPC. This tight control on the practice further contributes to the betterment of service and professionalism, signifying an industry where practitioners act responsibly and according to the requirements of theregulations.

  1. Consider your responses in Question 3, are there any aspects of either that you feel would benefit the process here in Australia?

Option 4 presents a very valuable approach to registration and regulation of the paramedics in Australia. By facilitating high levels of oversight and regulation, the national registration proves to be the way to go for the industry, as it aims at providing equal services for all citizens. Given that the infrastructure in place could be used in its development, option 4 remains the preferred approach to regulation of paramedic services in the country. Option 4 would also benefit Australia in relation to the international labour market by providing Australian firms with clear statements that will regulate and facilitate migration of paramedics into and out of Australia.

Adoption of this option will beneficial to Australia since it is likely to require less legislative work as compared with the option. Few legislative amendments to the National Law would be enough for its establishment and regulation and therefore mean less economic burden. While having the potential for producing the best results, this option is the cheapest for the government (except the option of doing nothing) and is likely to contribute most benefits economically. A survey result showed significant understanding of what this option means for paramedics and therefore is the best option for adoption in Australia.

By reducing risk of harm to the citizens that arise from current circumstances, providing a basis for the growth of contribution to the wellbeing of local communities by paramedics and creation of an appropriate base for regulation for the quickly expanding private sector, this option presents unmatched benefits to Australia than any other options that have been considered.

As has been seen in the case for England, however, it is not enough for practitioners to remain with old skills and ways of providing service. Australia could adopt the periodic re-registration of practitioners to ensure that only competent and skilled practitioners remain in service. To further promote professionalism and punishment for unprofessional behaviour, Australia could adopt the system in England where anyone is able to report any form of misconduct or unprofessional actions to the regulatory body. Once such allegations have been made, arrangements would be made for them to be assessed by other paramedics, health professionals and the members of the public before any sanctions or other forms of punishment can be administered. In this way, it will be possible to have in place a regulated service provision that will respect professional standards and achieve acceptability by the citizens. Clearly stipulated regulations and requirements will greatly contribute to a successful guide that will be accepted by all stakeholders.

  1. State one key point from your preferred Country’s regulation/registration process, that you feel would benefit the future process here in Australia

In England, they regulation system has been designed to allow any concerned persons to report a paramedic to the regulatory body for any form of misconduct or unprofessional behaviour. Fellow paramedics have a responsibility to also report any such behaviour of their colleagues, but employers remain legally obligated to do so. Employers could be held accountable for any consequences of failing to report under civil law. Other health professionals are also allowed to report any observations about low standards of clinical practice, acts of crime, unprofessional behaviour (even if these occurred outside working hours), and poor health that may compromise provision of safe and effective practice. It is expected, however, that the concerned paramedic reports these any of the above mentioned issue, as this will reflect professionalism.

Australia needs to ensure that the paramedicine industry gets public approval and acceptance and confidence. The focus of the paramedicine is to bring services to the people. It should also be understood that paramedics could provide service in remote areas where regulatory bodies may not be available directly. It is therefore important that high professionalism is instilled in them and that they perform their roles in a manner that brings trust to the public. Clear channels of reporting incidents and punishing the wrong doers in the best way of ensuring that the right thing is done the right way by the right persons at all times.

  1. How can knowledge and understanding of Learner Styles be applied to your roles as future Paramedics? give examples

Paramedicine is as dynamic as the experiences expected and unexpected in the daily provision of services. These professionals therefore, constantly meet different challenges and offer services in unpredictable locations every day. The result is constant need to learn new ways of doing things and becoming flexible so as to ensure that past experiences contribute to better performances in future situations. Paramedics need to understand the various learner styles and employ these in their daily experiences for their professional development. Various situations will require different learning approaches for the learning process to be productive. Various learning styles have been identified for paramedic students since educators have realised that different learners may have distinct learning needs (Williams, Brown & Winship, 2013; Sinnerton, Leonard & Rodgers, 2014).

Active learners are those that find it easy to understand faster when they engage actively in something by engaging in discussion, or applying the knowledge in real life experiences. They therefore like participating in group work. Reflective learners, on the other hand, prefer to take time and think quietly first and would prefer to work in isolation. Sensing learners easily learn facts and do not like surprises or unplanned changes in plans. They are good with detailed work and can memorise facts much easily. There are several other learner styles including visual learners, intuitive learners and so forth.

Since paramedics will usually work in groups, understanding these individual learner styles will help the group understand one another and one another’s actions in times of emergency or general service provision. Individuals will react to situations differently and all members must understand their members’ actions. Understanding of one’s preferred learner style will help the practitioners enhance their own learning processes and become better equipped to deal with future situations. Paramedics that will rise to management roles could also use this understanding to develop effective teaching strategies that will effectively deliver the learning objectives.

  1. Would the use of reflective practice benefit paramedicine? (Yes) Give reasons for your answers

Reflective practice may be defined as a process where an individual learns and develops through examination of his/ her own practice, opening this practice to scrutiny by others and analysing texts from a greater sphere (Bolton, 2010). As Bolton further says, it is closer and closer focusing. Burns & Bulman (2002) define it as the approach to learning and practice development that is centred on the patients and one that takes into account the confusion and untidiness of the environment of practice.

Reflective practice is a significant tool and could be used for effective learning within practice-based environments where an individual can learn from his/her own daily experiences. This tool is important if practitioners need to continuously enhance their professional competency and development. It is a tool that many individuals use every day in one way or the other in different situations. It can therefore be very useful in paramedicine. As Brookfield (1987) points out, reflective journals should not be considered as laborious tasks, but should be seen as an opportunity to reflect upon and enhance an individual’s practice, in addition to development of one’s critical thinking skills. According to Asselin & Fain (2013), professionals from other health disciplines like pharmacy, medicine and nursing have effectively used reflective journals to great success.

Blabber (2008) explains that ambulance clinicians encounter several incidents and meet many experiences in their service provision and care of patients and colleagues. Although it may not be possible or appropriate to review the experiences or reflect upon them then, there are useful tools and models that could be successfully used by the practitioners to make more sense of the experiences and learn from them. In this way, they can enhance their own professional developments and future experiences with patients. In order for the experiences to contribute to the learning process, there must be a specific structure to assist in the learning. Below is a description of some of the models that have been used for reflective learning

Gibbs model of reflection

Gibbs (1988) presented a simple reflection model that has been effectively used. The Gibbs cycle is shown below:

Role of paramedics and regulation

Source: Gibbs (1988)

The model involves several stages that assists practitioners and other learners make more sense of their experiences.

Description

At this stage, the individual needs to provide an explanation about what the reflection is about. Included in this section could be the background information about the experience and those that were involved. The learner will have to ensure that the information provided is relevant and to the point

Feelings

Here, the individual duscusses his/her feelings about the experience. The issues to be addressed here include how the individual felt at the time, what he/she thought at the time of the experience, any other thoughts afterwards. The individual will have to discuss the emotions honestly, but should ensure that the writing is not chatty.

Evaluation

During evaluation, the individual will discuss well he/she thinks things went. The individual may discuss how he/she reacted to the situation and how other people reacted. Also discussed here are anything that was good or bad about the experience and whether or not the situation was resolved

Analysis

In the analysis, the individual should consider what could have assisted or hindered the success of the event. At this point, the individual could also compare the experiences with the literature that has been read

Conclusion

This section outlines other options of actions that could have been done as well as the lessons that have been learnt from the experience. The individual should consider whether or not anything could have been done differently. If the outcome was positive, the individual should mention whether or not he/she would do things the same way in future. Any improvements to the actions should also be outlined here. Steps should also be stated about how negative outcomes could have been minimised or eliminated.

Action plan

Here is where the individual sums up anything that should be done to improve in future. Anything that should be learned or any training that should be attended needs to be mentioned here.

Kolb’s learning/reflective cycle

This reflective cycle consists of 4 stages: planning, doing, reflecting and linking (Kolb & Fry, 1975).

Role of paramedics and regulation 1

Source: Kolb & Fry (1975)

Planning/testing stage is where the individual’s interests are captured and the subject of the learning established and clearly outlined. The individual will also need to clearly state and describe the learning objectives at his stage. Doing/experiencing involves construction of knowledge on the focus of the learning by investigating several learning methods like questioning, interacting and observing. Reflecting ensures that the learners are able to give an explanation of the material that was covered. Lastly, the learner must link or conceptualise. In linking, the learner applies the knowledge that has been gained on other different situations and problems.

References

Sterling C.M., O’Meara P.O., Pedler D., Tourle V. & Walker J. (2007). Engaging rural communities in health care through a paramedic expanded scope of practice. Rural and Remote Health, 7: 839

Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods. London: Further Education Unit,

O’Meara P.F., Tourle V., Stirling C., Walker J. & Pedler D. (2012). Extending the paramedic role in rural Australia: a story of flexibility and innovation. Rural and Remote Health 12: 1978.

Reeve C., Pashen D., Mumme H., De La Rue S. & Cheffins T. (2008). Expanding the role of paramedics in northern Queensland: An evaluation of population health training. Aust. J. Rural Health, 16: 370–375

Sinnerton T, Leonard L & Rodgers KMA. (2014). Using Learning Styles Preferences to Enhance the Education and Training of Allied Health Professionals. The internet journal of allied health sciences and practice, 12(1): 1-5.

Williams B., Brown T. & Winship C .(2013). Learning style preferences of undergraduate paramedic students: A pilot study .Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, Vol. 3, No. 1

Burns, S., Bulman, C. (2000). Reflective Practice in Nursing: The Growth of the Professional Practitioner. (2nd Ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Science.

Asselin ME & Fain JA. (2013). Effect of reflective practice education on self-reflection, insight, and reflective thinking among experienced nurses: a pilot study. J Nurses Prof Dev, 29(3): 111-119.

Kolb D.A. and Fry R. (1975). Toward an applied theory of experiential learning; in C. Cooper (ed.) Theories of Group Process. London: Wiley

Blaber A. (2008). Foundations for Paramedic Practice: A Theoretical Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill International

Brookfield, S. (1987). Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults To Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Bolton, G (2010). Reflective Practice, Writing and Professional Development (3rd edition). California: SAGE publications.