Autoethnographic analysis of the self through an occupational story of a paramedic

This article discusses the role that storytelling plays in understanding both the personal and professional self from the perspective of a paramedic. The practice of paramedicine provides individuals with a strong platform upon which storytelling can be built, with narration of work-related stories presenting opportunities for reflection on the interplay between organisational culture and self-identity. Using elements of narrative inquiry, autoethnography and critical reflection, a paramedic story is deconstructed and examined from a number of perspectives. From this narrative exploration, three distinct themes emerged and are subsequently discussed: assumptions and preconceptions, fears and insecurities, and distancing and control. The findings illustrate the benefits of exploring paramedic stories in order to recognise, transform or eliminate unhelpful assumptions relating to paramedic practice, and discover unexplored aspects of the self through analysis of story.

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