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Desirable attributes of the ambulance technician, paramedic, and clinical supervisor: findings from a Delphi study

Abstract

Objectives: To identify those attributes experts regard as desirable qualities in the ambulance technician, paramedic, and clinical supervisor.

Methods: The Delphi technique was used to gain a consensus view from a panel of experts. The first round of the study asked the experts to list the attributes they believed were desirable for the ambulance technician, the ambulance paramedic, and the clinical supervisor. The first round of the study generated 3403 individual statements that were collapsed into 25 broad categories, which were returned to the experts, who were required to rate each of the attributes along a visual analogue scale in respect of each of the identified occupational groups.

Results: On completion of the second round the data were analysed to demonstrate rank ordering of desirable attributes by occupational group. The level of agreement within each group was determined by analysis using the Kendall coefficient of concordance. This showed high levels of agreement within the technician group but less agreement within the paramedic and clinical supervisor group. All were highly significant p<0.0001.

Conclusions: There was significant agreement among the experts as to the desirable attributes of ambulance staff, many of which do not feature in existing ambulance training curriculums. The findings of this study may therefore be of value in informing future curriculum development and in providing guidance for the selection of staff for each of the occupational groups.

  • Delphi technique
  • ambulance personnel
  • training

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