Who Are the Paramedicine Researchers in Australia and New Zealand?

With a relatively high number of PhD qualified paramedicine researchers, the research capacity of paramedicine in Australia and New Zealand is growing, with many paramedics having completed or undertaking graduate research studies. However, we know little about who they are, their motivations or aspirations.

Professor Peter O’Meara and a research team of fellow PA members Dr Paul Simpson, Dr Brian Maguire and Dr Paul Jennings are undertaking a project to identify and describe those involved in paramedicine and out-of-hospital research in Australia and New Zealand. PA is proud to be funding the preliminary project to enable this significant work to be undertaken for the benefit of PA members and paramedicine in general.

A key outcome of this work is the building of a research profile and record of accomplishment for the investigation team and potential industry partners that will enable the partnership to compete for competitive research funding to identify and develop paramedicine research priorities for Australia and New Zealand. The information will be invaluable to our new Research Special Interest Group headed by Kate Cantwell.

Professor O’Meara has provided an overview of this research.

Aims

  • Map the out-of-hospital research capacity of the paramedicine discipline, ambulance services, universities and professional organisations in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Lay the foundation for a larger project that will collaboratively identify and develop paramedicine research priorities that can be translated into research projects.

Research approach

The overall project study design will utilise a mixed methods approach, as used to develop the EMS Research Agenda for Canada in 2011–12. Success will depend on:

  • ensuring a representative sample of expert stakeholders
  • fostering an open and collaborative roundtable discussion
  • adhering to a pre-defined approach to measure consensus on each topic.

We will identify and describe expert stakeholders from Australia and New Zealand in four population sub-groups:

Active paramedicine and out-of-hospital researchers, who are those researchers who have published a minimum of five peer-reviewed papers (lead author on at least two) related directly to paramedicine or out-of-hospital research in the last five years. We expect that there will be a mix of physicians, nurses and paramedics in this category. Database searches will objectively identify these stakeholders.

Early career paramedicine researchers are those paramedics who have graduated with a doctorate in the last five years who do not qualify as active researchers. They are most likely faculty members of universities that offer paramedicine programs, although some are located in other universities and ambulance services.

Paramedics undertaking research degrees in Australia and New Zealand are the next generation of researchers who are at the novice stage of their development.

Research managers from the state and territory ambulance services are those managers or clinicians who are responsible for the governance, conduct or implementation of research in their respective organisations.

Outcomes

The immediate outcome of the preliminary project will be the collation of a complete list and description of paramedicine and out-of-hospital researchers, paramedic graduate researchers, and paramedic graduate research students. Subject to the permission of individuals and the availability of a suitable hosting website, this list would be an invaluable resource for universities, ambulance services and potential funding bodies.

The medium-term outcome will be the building of a research profile and record of accomplishment for the investigation team and potential industry partners that will enable the partnership to compete for competitive research funding to identify and develop paramedicine research priorities for Australia and New Zealand.

Progress

We will bring you regular reports from the research team. If you have any queries or would like to discuss the project please contact Professor Peter O’Meara at p.omeara@latrobe.edu.au