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Open Access Mentorship within the paramedic profession: a practice educator's perspective

Background ‐ The rapid ascension of paramedic science within higher education is creating a significant culture change within the profession. Clinicians are now accountable for both their patients as well as the learning of their students. Mentoring practices in the paramedic profession have been adopted from the findings of professions allied to healthcare, including medicine, nursing and midwifery, where mentorship is well established. The insufficiencies of this model need to be tested to account for the idiosyncrasies of the paramedic role.

Methods ‐ A convenience sample of paramedic educators were identified across two ambulance services. Focus groups were conducted to obtain rich data about participants’ opinions on current mentoring practices within the paramedic profession and recommendations for how this can be improved.

Results ‐ Results demonstrated the importance of learning through observation, teaching skills and personal qualities in relation to the paramedic educator role, as previously identified in the literature produced by professions allied to healthcare. Paramedic educators also identified current challenges to practice that included organisational issues such as ‘support’, ‘recognition’ and the ‘mental well-being’ of students.

Conclusions ‐ This is the first primary research to explore mentoring from the paramedic educator perspective. In order to undertake their role more effectively paramedic educators are looking for a greater investment into the culture of mentoring by ambulance services and universities to address the identified organisational issues.

Keywords: culture change; mentorship; paramedic educators (PEds); recognition; support; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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