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Introduction to the “space-control theory of paramedic scene management”


Background: Scene management is a critically important aspect of paramedic practice but, to date, there has been no formal research in this area.

Objective: To generate a substantive theory of paramedic scene management practice.

Method: A grounded theory methodology was used to conduct a qualitative inquiry that involved interviewing paramedics concerning their approach to scene management. Paramedics were selected from rural, suburban and urban settings and were categorised by competence level as novice, experienced and expert.

Results: A theory was generated that describes how paramedics coordinate key specific social processes to establish “space control” at the scene.

Conclusion: This study introduces the first formal theory of paramedic scene management and suggests that recognition of this aspect of practice will improve both pre- and in-service educational programming and assist with medical quality assurance.

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