Addressing the challenges facing the paramedic profession in the United Kingdom
Background: The paramedic profession within the United Kingdom has been evolving at pace over the last 20 years. While they are most associated with their work in ambulance services, paramedics are now found throughout a range of clinical and academic settings. Sources of data: Literature Review. Areas of agreement: Despite emergence of the paramedic across the healthcare workforce, the understanding and awareness of the professional role and capabilities is poor. This could be due to a lack of representation within senior leadership roles and within health and social care policy. Areas of controversy: Understanding of the paramedic professional identity, from a philosophical and sociological perspective, remains incomplete. Growing points: A challenge for the future is to explore how the paramedic role can continue to develop across a range of clinical settings, while retaining its sui generis professional identity. Areas timely for developing research: Research to establish perspectives of and about the paramedic profession may assist in developing an understanding of identity and its place within the wider healthcare workforce.