Background Incivility or rudeness is a form of interpersonal aggression. Studies suggest that up to 90% of healthcare staff encounter incivility at work with it being considered ‘part of the job’.
Methods Qualitative, in-depth, semistructured interviews (n=14) undertaken between June and December 2019. Purposive sampling was used to identify front-line paramedics working for one NHS Ambulance Trust. Interviews lasted between 16 and 45 min, were audiorecorded, verbatim transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.
Results Four themes were identified: paramedics reported a lack of respect displayed both verbally and non-verbally from other professional groups. The general public and interdisciplinary colleagues alike have unrealistic expectations of the role of a paramedic. In order to deal with incivility paramedics often reported taking the path of least resistance which impacts on ways of working and shapes subsequent clinical decision-making, potentially threatening best practice. Finally paramedics report using coping strategies to support well-being at work. They report that a single episode of incivility is easier to deal with but subsequent episodes compound the first.
Conclusions This study highlights the effect incivility can have on operational paramedics. Incivility from the general public and other health professionals alike can have a cumulative effect impacting on well-being and clinical decision-making.
- prehospital care
- qualitative research
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Data are anonymised audio transcription quotes of which are used in this paper.
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