Barriers to paramedic education in black and ethnic minority (BME) groups

Purpose:To gain an understanding of how Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups respond to information about paramedic courses, their experience of the enrolment processes and their experience of paramedic training.Methodology:Telephone interviews were conducted with qualified paramedics and student paramedics from BME groups.Findings:Interviews revealed issues in relation to the accessibility and understanding of information on paramedic education and a lack of information in preparation for paramedic courses, causing unrealistic expectations. A lack of diversity in the student population, incidences of racial offence (unconscious or conscious), and a lack of visibility of BME staff in the ambulance service as well as in the wider community were identified.Practical implications:The results produced from this evaluation may contribute towards a series of recommendations in order to better inform practice to increase the diversity of students entering into paramedic science and in order to avoid issues such as student attrition

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