Book Review


This text initially captures your attention given the all-encompassing title, but how much of the content is actually devoted to paramedic practice? That in itself is difficult to define given the ever-increasing scope of practice of those working within our profession. The editor is a nurse by profession and only two of the contributors are HCPC-registered paramedics. Not so much a criticism but a curious balance, as ‘paramedic’ is the only clinical role given specific mention in the title.

This text initially captures your attention given the all-encompassing title, but how much of the content is actually devoted to paramedic practice? That in itself is difficult to define given the ever-increasing scope of practice of those working within our profession. The editor is a nurse by profession and only two of the contributors are HCPC-registered paramedics. Not so much a criticism but a curious balance, as ‘paramedic’ is the only clinical role given specific mention in the title.

My initial reservations were, alas, borne out as the content is at times very abstract and lacking insightful perspective into our profession. Theoretically sound but the absence of context relating to the specific challenges which the majority of paramedics in the UK have to contend with is telling. The obvious exception to this is the chapter on ‘Antidiscriminatory Practice’ which, unsurprisingly, is written by one of the paramedic contributors. It successfully relates the theory to contemporary paramedic practice which is a notable omission from the other chapters. It also has to be said that for a text which supposedly provides a ‘…comprehensive theoretical underpinning’ to paramedic practice, the absence of subject areas such as A&E avoidance, use of alternative treatment pathways, and management of aggression to name but three contemporary issues, only serves to emphasise the lack of specificity for a paramedic readership.

The theory itself is robust and will no doubt be of some value if considering the more generic aspects of healthcare. But for a paramedic profession which can justifiably claim a very distinct body of knowledge, these pages do little to recognise that. In the increasingly competitive literary world where paramedic texts are gaining in prominence, this may struggle to find a niche.

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