Volume 2 Issue 7

Development of paramedic courses at the University of Worcester

This article discusses the prehospital programmes on offer at the University of Worcester. The three courses offered are directed at both pre-registration and post-registration students. The newest edition to the university prospectus is the development of a higher education diploma in paramedic science for IHCD trained and Health Professions Council (HPC) registered paramedics. The programme has been designed in recognition of the HPC requirements for the paramedic to ensure that they maintain their fitness practice by continual professional development through keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date (Health Professions Council, 2007).

Spotlight on Research

Lyon et al (2010) identify that mild therapeutic hypothermia (MTH) is the only post-return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) therapy shown to improve outcomes in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). However, the exact benefits and mechanisms of this therapy are unclear.

Mentorship for paramedic practice: a path to assessment

This penultimate article will focus on knowledge, learning theories and the assessment of students. If we understand the important elements of adult-centred learning, we can then begin to understand how our students learn and also, therefore, how best to assess them. The article will identify some assessment methods and also outline and describe their application to paramedic practice.

A guide to setting up a simulation training unit within an ambulance trust

Education and training departments are a core element of UK ambulance services. There is an emphasis on ensuring the adequate provision of continuing professional development opportunities to staff, as well as an increased focus on patient safety across all aspects of healthcare provision. In the light of technological developments, the ways of delivering certain aspects of training or monitoring competencies and the actual physical infrastructures of educational facilities sometimes requires to be adapted. This article provides guidance on how to set up a simulation training unit within an ambulance service by either reconfiguring existing facilities or starting from a blank canvas.

Book Review

This book stands out from many other paramedic texts in that the authors are both experienced paramedics and are involved, to varying degrees, with research and education in paramedic practice. So, it is of no surprise that the content is both contemporary and reflective of evidence-based practice—a comprehensive list of references support the content.

July roundup of the EMS blogging world

Mark Glencorse, NHS Operational Paramedic Team Leader, Former author of 999medic.com, and Co-Host and European Programme Director of ‘The Chronicles of EMS’, updates JPP on the main issues that emergency medical services (EMS) blogs are focusing on and the topics that are creating the best discussions this month.

Seizures in the prehospital setting

Seizures are a common occurrence in the prehospital arena, however, with numerous conditions causing seizures, prehospital clinicians can be left with a dilemma in the treatment of these patients. Patients who are actively seizing will predominately have their airway maintained, oxygen administered and therapeutic intervention (diazepam) initiated. One form of seizure, non-epileptic attack disorder or psychogenic seizures, are often called ‘pseudo’ seizures—an acronym synonymous in the ambulance service, this gives connotations that the patient is ‘faking it’. However, these patients often have deep psychological trauma that needs careful handling and empathy.

The pathophysiology of labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is an inflammatory response within the membranous inner ear structures in response to infection. It is a generally short-lived minor illness that has the potential to cause temporary or permanent disablement in terms of hearing loss. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, pain in the affected ear, vertigo, and fever. Subsequently, it is an illness commonly diagnosed by health care practitioners working in the community setting. Understanding the pathophysiological development and the inflammatory and immune response to such an illness enables the clinician to comprehend the underlying processes of the presenting signs and symptoms, and to treat accordingly.

Update on ‘what is our unique selling point?’

In June 2010, JPP published a comment piece from Matt Capsey, titled ‘What is our unique selling point?’ This explored the view that paramedics must develop a stronger sense of identity. JPP has received a letter regarding this, which is printed below, along with a response from the author.

Oxygen therapy in acute MI: role uncertainty

Administration of inhaled oxygen to patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has been recommended in national and international guidelines (Kallstrom, 2002; Antman et al, 2004; American Heart Association, 2005; International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, 2005; Anderson et al, 2007; Van de Werf, 2007) and has been a mainstay of prehospital management for decades.

Hypertension: update for paramedics

Hypertension is recognized by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being one of the leading causes of premature death in the developed world (WHO, 2003). It increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and renal failure (Vasan et al, 2001), yet it is often a hidden disease that is not recognized by those who suffer from it. Hypertension is a significant problem in the UK, with a prevalence of 31.7% in men and 29.5% in women. The prevalence increases steeply with age in both sexes, so that by the age of 75, at least two thirds of men and women have high blood pressure according to current definitions (Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2008).

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