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PP16 The experiences of and attitudes towards continuing professional development: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of UK paramedics (EAT CPD)
  1. Barry Handyside1, 2,
  2. Karen Watson1
  1. 1University of Cumbria, UK
  2. 2South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, UK


Background Paramedics are allied health professionals, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Part of this registration is the responsibility to conduct and record continuing professional development (CPD). A sample of UK paramedics have their CPD audited ever two years as part of their re-registration process. Compared to other allied health professionals very little is known about paramedics’ engagement with CPD.

Methods An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology was undertaken to understand the lived experiences of the participants attitudes towards and experiences of CPD. Audio-recorded semi-structured interviews using a piloted topic guide took place with registered paramedics who worked in a variety of roles for several different healthcare employers. Interviews were professionally transcribed and analysed via thematic analysis related to IPA research.

Results Seven interviews were conducted; one overarching domain of Paramedics experiences of and attitudes towards CPD was created from four themes shaped by a variety of subthemes. The four themes were: personal factors (attributed to areas of individual motivations to conduct CPD), professional accountability (factors relating to how CPD improves oneself and the profession), employer investment and support (how employers play their part in CPD facilitation), and Covid-19 (the impact Covid-19 had on CPD). Novel subthemes included CPD is a personal responsibility and Covid-19 factors.

Conclusion Paramedics are faced with a plethora of factors that impact on how and why they engage with CPD. These combinations of factors are individual and personal to each paramedic. A more structured and integrated collaboration between paramedics, employers, regulators, and CPD providers could provide improved education on professional responsibilities and requirements whist also delivering focused CPD activities that have improved access for the paramedic profession.

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