Paramedic attitudes towards DNACPR orders
Monday, October 2, 2017
Background:Qualitative research involving paramedics and their involvement in end-of-life (EoL) care has already been published, but there have been no published attitudinal studies specifically relating to do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) orders and paramedics working in the pre-hospital setting in the UK.Objective:To gain an understanding of paramedic attitudes towards an increasingly common aspect of paramedic practice, focusing specifically on the pre-hospital environment and identifying any corelation between gender, length of service, and level of educational attainment.Design:A paper-based questionnaire was distributed to all paramedic grades, operational out of two ambulance stations of a regional NHS ambulance service in March 2017. The questionnaires were designed using a combination of free-text boxes and Likert scales. A total of 33 questionnaires were issued and 11 completed questionnaires were returned.Results:Respondents indicated the importance of communication in relation to DNACPR orders, as well as the role of allied health professionals and family members in the process. Respecting the patient's wishes was considered paramount, as was educational provision surrounding DNACPRs.Conclusion:The majority of respondents reported that they were comfortable incorporating DNACPR orders in their clinical practice, although more modest responses were returned regarding the level of education received in this area of paramedicine.
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