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The United States healthcare secretary in the fiscal 1992 stated that workforce expressive and material welfare are elementary issues. In fact, specific apprehensions have been articulated concerning the mounting levels of both psychosomatic and physical fatigue and signs amongst healthcare employees.
In the United Kingdom for example, employees working in the paramedic departments displayed high degrees of untimely retirement based on the physical and poor cerebral conditions or ill health compared to people working in other healthcare units.
However, the feasible correlations amid workers health statuses and the demands at work are inadequately assessed amongst the suffering groups. Scholars in paramedic research studies mentioned the prospective injurious effects that paramedic undergo when the crucial healthcare events occurred, yet hardly any investigations are conducted (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
Most study literature show that crucial events appear to be menacing to trounce and engulf the normal endurance techniques used by paramedics.
The crisis management employees are normally said to possess resilient traits even though they are susceptible to the unremitting and harsh post-traumatic psychopathological effects accruing after the occurrences of key tragedies. The researchers in this particular study objectively intend to fill the literature gap available in the past studies relating to the paramedics areas of operations.
What the researchers are studying
In this research study, the researchers investigated the correlations amid occupational factors and psychological health amongst the United Kingdom paramedics or ambulance employees.
In fact, the researchers intended to categorize the psychopathology incidence amongst the paramedics, as well as the correlations amid the exposure to the crucial events and personalities. This implies that, in their study the researchers intended to answer the following research questions:
- Does ambulance paramedics’ toughness provide safety to the ensuing ordinary exposures to the incidental consequences?
- What kind of correlation exists amid the emotional, psychological wellbeing and the habitual contacts entailing various crucial events occurring in the course of offering the Scottish paramedic services?
The method used by the researchers to conduct the study
To participate in the study, the researchers invited one-hundred and sixty ambulance employees who perform the emergency and accident responsibilities together with those offering paramedic services to the Scotland local residents. However, the study samples hardly incorporated personnel who transported long-suffering and those charged with administrative duties (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
Prior to conducting the study, the researchers visited fourteen paramedic or ambulance posts. During such visits, the researchers issued study notices to the research respondents showing what is required. However, there were ethical considerations observed by the researcher as subsequently discussed.
First, permission, and support from the business union officers were sought to increase the study response rates. Secondly, the respondents were notified about the free will to participate in the research; the study significance to each paramedic staff; the ability to withdraw from the participation, and confidentiality of the given information (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The researchers designed and tested a psychopathology questionnaire that comprised of 28 study items. The instrument was perceived to be viable for the identification and testing of minor psychiatric community disorders. The five and above scores were utilized in the study to classify cases having maximum specifity and sensitivity.
The event scale impacts were drawn in the determination of the disturbing events as well as the post-traumatic avoidance behavioral symptoms that were self reported in particular events. The classification of the total scores for the subjects was founded on the suggested scales. That is, high had 20+, medium ranged from nine to 19, and low was from 0-8 (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The researchers used the Maslach burnout inventory model to assess the paramedics’ occasional burnouts. The model measured the work linked cumulative pressure effects founded on personal accomplishments, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization. Conversely, the three hardiness traits namely challenge, control, and commitment were measured using the forty-five itemed Hardiness Scale version (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The work approval subscale indicating the management of pressure was used to show the satisfaction level of paramedic staffs with the inner crisis works and accident features. Nevertheless, the subscale for organizational satisfaction was equally utilized to offer the paramedics satisfaction levels with the external organization features.
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The copying techniques used by the paramedics in cases of the upsetting events were documented using the checklist for copying techniques. The research file had 8-subjects with responses such as very unsupportive, unsupportive, not sure, supportive, or very supportive (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The study subjects emerged in a distinct in print leaflet distributed to the one-hundred and sixty study participants via the ambulance services mail scheme. The finished questionnaires were taken back to the researchers via the provided embossed envelopes bearing the researchers postal addresses.
For the statistical research data analysis, the researchers used the Statistical Windows Software Package used by the Social Scientists (SPSS) where they entered and analyzed the study data. In case discrepancies emerged in heterogeneous parameters and distorted information spread, the investigators employed none geometric exploration techniques.
The results discovered
From the one-hundred and sixty paramedics, the response rate was 69.0%, implying that only one-hundred and ten respondents completed and returned the study questionnaire. There were 95 men and 15 women representing seventy ambulance technicians and forty paramedics.
The participants who reported upsetting incidents in the past six months were 82.0%. However, there was hardly any major variation in the demographic outline between paramedics reporting disturbed events and those who did not experience upsetting events (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
There was a correlation amid burnout and psychopathology among study participants. The results indicated a positive correlation (r=0.25) amid the quantity of crucial events observed in the past six months and emotional exhaustion.
The paramedic familiarity periods appear depressingly correlated to individual success. The unconstructive correlation (R= -0.29) revealed that the advanced achievements were majorly correlated to the shorter service periods (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The research outcomes showed that post-traumatic symptoms were eminent amongst the study respondents. The ninety participants in this particular study reporting the unsettling experiences indicated stumpy post-distressing events.
Utmost thirty-one participants asserted being distraught by the upsetting events for some days; five stated more days, sixteen felt distraught for only some weeks, while two asserted situations of being troubled often.
Despite the fact that the mainly reported events are homicide and personal inflicted injuries, the generally nerve-racking occasions included the therapeutic tragedies and highway motor carnages. In fact, 69.0% of the entire respondents indicated that there was no space and free periods for them to pull through psychologically amid such crucial occurrences (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
From the research study, copying with and exposure to crucial incidents was another aspect observed by the researchers. From 89 respondents, 49.0% indicated that as the number of exposures to serious incidents increased, the copying chances also increased.
However, 38.0% claimed that the copying capacities are hardly influenced by the recurrent exposures while 2.0% had the feeling that copying with situations was dismal (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The study results indicated that most respondents faced numerous risk factors leading to the emotional and psychiatric problems. For instance, the paramedics claimed that some crucial incidents could cause further psycho-noxious problems compared to others.
Hence, habitual exposures of paramedic staffs to such situations could possibly compromise the employees’ psychosomatic welfare. Paramedics experiencing upsetting episodes suffered high depersonalization resulting mainly from the upsetting incidents such as therapeutic crisis and motor accidents (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The paramedics become even more perturbed when the victims are children, when the paramedic knows the injured party, where the paramedic received no assistance, or when the injuries endured materialized to be crucial.
On the other hand, the study results indicate that the effect and the incidents nature have direct correlation to the time available for the paramedics to recuperate prior to attending to any other crucial healthcare incident. Many research respondents, more than half noted that there was hardly enough recovery time amid the events.
These increase the paramedics’ intellect-burden part, which appears to be very detrimental to the sickbay attendants’ psychological well-being. Most of the emotional effects are cumulative and take some time to fade away.
Thus, it is imperative that colleagues should offer expressive supports to the paramedics for them to overcome the psychosomatic stigma. Adequate working out, groundwork and endurance tactics should be offered to the paramedic to overcome the emotional difficulties (Alexander & Klein, 2001).
The results show increased levels of occupation approval. In fact, the provision of healthcare services by the paramedics seems satisfying to each worker. Nevertheless, the systems of operations and the inner job features should be supported.
The level of occupational approval hardly justifies complains raised concerning the ambulance or paramedics welfare characterized by post-traumatic symptoms, burnouts, and psychopathology.
Conversely, the paramedics’ experiences do not play significant roles in helping the employees manage the subsequent critical incidents. However, experience helps the paramedics to be somehow reluctant compared to the inexperienced staffs suffering from emotional difficulties.
Alexander, D. & Klein, S. (2001). Ambulance personnel and critical incidents: Impact of accident and emergency work on mental health and emotional well-being. British Journal of Psychiatry, 178(2), 76-81.