Values and Beliefs that underpin a Paramedic Internship


In Australia, each state has its own paramedic internship programme which means that if a paramedic moves interstate they are required to redo an internship. This is unusual as there is no educational rationale for this and nor demographic differences in the prevalence and incidence of illness and trauma. The obvious step would then be to simply abolish this state- based system but such steps are risky without a good prior understanding of the reasons behind the system. One way of looking at this is from the perspective of organisational culture to gain a better understanding of the values and beliefs that underpin a state based internship.In order to obtain this understanding, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 6 major stakeholders of the internship within one state that included managers (operational/general) and ambulance educationalist. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. They were were analysed using an interpretative framework by Hofstede and Waisfisz to understand the organisation culture.Internships primarily consolidate knowledge towards clinical competence but they also serve a role as induction into the local organisation and culture. It is recognised that the internship in another state has equipped the paramedic with sufficient explicit competence to practice safely but there are concerns about the implicit/tacit aspects of paramedic competence for the local context. Addressing the issues of confidence and the need for local induction are key before a state-wide recognition of internship can be politically viable. Replication in other states is needed to evaluate the transferability of the findings.


Study Progress:

Submitted by Service:

Contact Investigator:
Aaron Caudle

Expected Completion:
April 2016

Trials Registration Number:
Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Long title or abstract link:

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Published Date:

Author Key Contact:
A Caudle, Prof L Sweet, Prof L Schuwirth