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A student perspective: newly qualified paramedic programme

02 June 2017
Volume 9 · Issue 6

The recent success of implementing ‘band 6’ paramedics has shown the growing value of the profession, and is now offering a career development package as envisioned by the College of Paramedics (2015). However, newly qualified paramedics (NQPs) are required to complete a maximum two-year ‘band 5’ consolidation period (Department of Health, 2016; Scott et al, 2016), which may impact positively and negatively on the profession. This comment aims to open a discourse on defining the purpose of a NQP programme, and how this might impact future students entering the profession.

According to the College of Paramedics (2015), a paramedic is an autonomous allied health professional who delivers treatment to critically ill and injured patients within an emergency, urgent, and unscheduled setting, both pre- and in-hospital. NQPs can suffer a ‘reality shock’, in which they find themselves required to fulfil this role as a lead clinician in a minimally supervised setting (Gregory, 2013). The NQP programme aims to demonstrate the transition of novice paramedics to experts; under clinical supervision the NQP practices in accordance to national and local policies, garnering experience, whilst improving organisational retention (Department of Health, 2016).

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