Exposure of rural paramedics to critical care

Studies have identified the differing needs and utilisation of ambulance services in rural areas compared to urban areas (1-5).  Having an understanding of how often paramedics are required to intervene with high-end skills may impact the way in which training  and continuing education programs are designed and implemented.  Some important questions are: Do paramedics in rural and urban areas have different exposure to high acuity cases?  Could this impact the willingness of rural paramedics to intervene with low-frequency, high-risk procedures?

Ben Fisk is currently working on two papers exploring these questions which we hope to publish in peer reviewed journals this year.

  1.  O’Meara P, Strasser R, marrow A, Le Livre P.  An integrated approach to the role of the ambulance medical officer in rural Australia.  Prehosp Imm Care 2001: 5: 24-26.
  2. O’Meara P. Professional and community expectations of Australian rural ambulance services.  Prehosp Imm Care 2001; 5: 27-30.
  3. O’Meara P. Would a prehospital practitioner model improve patient care in rural Australia? Emerg Med J 2003; 20: 199-203.
  4. Mulholland P, O’Meara P, Walker J, Stirling C, Tourle V. Multidisciplinary practice in action: the rural paramedic – it’s not only lights and sirens. JEPHC 2009; 7: 11p.
  5. Bailey P. Developing ambulance models for practice. Aust J Emerg Care 1996; 3: 26-2