Integrating clinical research into paramedic practice:current trends and influences

This article aims to evaluate some of the major influencing factors on the integration of research into paramedic practice. It looks at national research and development policies, the paramedic role, training developments, the influence of the College of Paramedics and the HPC, research funding bodies, support of organisational structures and ambulance culture. It also looks at the collaborative research between ambulance services and academic institutions and how these influencing factors impact on the integration of research into practice in the pre-hospital setting. Strategies are proposed to overcome some of the barriers to the integration of clinical and research practice by the paramedic. These focus on changing national policy to promote greater clinician involvement in research and greater communication between UK universities and research networks to make academic research careers more accessible to university-trained paramedics. The development of roles within ambulance trusts to incorporate both clinical practice and research engagement is also discussed as well as a focus on increasing the College of Paramedics’ representation of the profession to enable more paramedics to access opportunities to become actively involved in research.

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