Competence of UK paramedics in performing standard paramedic skills

Paramedics working in a traditional ambulance service role infrequently see patients who are critically ill or injured; in addition, pressures on hospitals have caused long waiting times, further lowering exposure to all patient groups and reducing how often paramedics use their clinical skills, potentially negatively impacting performance in practice. This study sought to establish the competence of paramedics in a set of skills that included frequent and infrequent as well as simple and complex procedures. They took part in a scored clinical scenario in which they used these skills. The study also sought to explore paramedics' perception of how difficult these skills were. Participants generally scored well; however, in some instances, elements of skills were missed or performed out of sequence. The pressure created by the scenario appeared to negatively impact performance.

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