Pre-hospital psychosocial care: changing attitudes

Holistic care is often a term widely associated with mental health professions, self help and alternative therapies, and often wrongly deemed irrelevant by those working in the pre-hospital care arena. The paradigm of an individual being much more than just the skin and bone holding itself together has gained increasing emphasis over recent decades in medicine, nursing, and now paramedicine. This article reviews the current literature and focuses on the concept of paramedics exploring not just the traditional physical needs of their patients but also the psychological and sociological. It further explores the drive to change attitudes held by pre-hospital practitioners that holistic care as irrelevant and meaningless. By distancing ourselves as a profession from the outdated perception of paramedicine as merely an emergency transportation service, we can change attitudes and thus expand the constraints of biomedical models of emergency and unscheduled health and appreciate the importance of biopsychosocial care for both patients and practitioners.

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