Paramedic prescribing: implementation in practice

Background: In April 2018, legislation was changed to allow paramedics to prescribe independently. There is limited research regarding how paramedics are implementing their prescribing qualification. Policy papers and other literature were largely written before April 2018 and therefore document expectations regarding prescribing paramedics within the healthcare system. Aim: To explore if paramedic prescribing is being practised as expected. This article reports part of a larger study that explored how paramedics are implementing their prescribing qualification in practice more broadly. Methods: A web-based survey was conducted using convenience sampling. The sample represents 14.65% of the total number of prescribing paramedics. Findings: Paramedics are working in a variety of areas of healthcare. Some paramedics do not have the required amount of experience or the educational background recommended to become a prescribing paramedic. It is unlikely that new pathways to care are being created by prescribing paramedics. It is unclear whether prescribing increases patient access to medications.

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