EMS World

MAR 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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EMSWORLD.com | MARCH 2018 21 T his month we discuss a topic many of us have probably secretly (or not-so-secretly!) thought about, especially after a rough shift: leav- ing our profession. We probably all have some thoughts as to why our colleagues do this. However, there is very little evidence to support or refute our guesses. This article—"Exiting the Emergency Medi- cal Services Profession and Characteristics Associated with Intent to Return to Practice," published in Prehospital Emergency Care— adds some evidence to this discussion. The authors evaluate reasons people exit EMS and identify common characteristics among those who have left but intend to return. This publication is important for leaders trying to retain their workforces. The study had three objectives: The first was to describe, on a national level, the proportion of EMS professionals who left EMS but intend to return. The second was to compare demographic and employment characteristics of individuals who reported being likely to return to EMS versus those who reported being unlikely to return. Finally the authors assessed the prevalence of key factors contributing to the decision to leave EMS. Lead author Rebecca Cash and her team used a census of nationally certified EMS professionals to meet these objectives. A census is different than other surveys. Most surveys cannot reach everyone in a population. There are many reasons, includ- ing not having a method or the resources to contact everyone. Therefore, most surveys are targeted to a sample of the population. A lot of work generally goes into selecting a sample that accurately represents the over- all population. A census is great if everyone in the population can be reached. A census is taken in our country every 10 years. This is possible because our government has a method to reach almost all of us. Cash and her coauthors were able to take a census because they targeted nationally certified EMS professionals. The NREMT has a database and regularly sends surveys to all nationally certified EMTs and paramed- ics. At the time this study was performed, there were more than 300,000 of them, and everyone with a valid e-mail address (95% of those with an NREMT certifica- tion) received an invitation to participate. They were asked demographic questions that included how much experience they had, certification level, service type they worked for, and type of service provided (9-1- 1, medical transport, etc.). They were also asked how many organizations they currently worked for as an EMS professional. Those who replied zero were then asked additional questions specifically about exiting EMS. What is really novel about this manuscript is that most of the literature on leaving EMS is focused on those who intend to leave but haven't yet. These authors obtained informa- tion from those who've already left the field. Results Only about 10% of nationally certified EMS professionals replied to the census. This response rate is less than ideal, but because Look for PCRF research podcasts based on the topics featured in this column at www.pcrfpodcast.org. Leaving EMS… For a While REVIEWED THIS MONTH Exiting the Emergency Medical Services Profession and Characteristics Associated with Intent to Return to Practice. Authors: Cash RE, Crowe RP, Agarwal R, Rodriguez SA, Panchal AR. Published in: Prehosp Emerg Care, 2018 Jan–Feb; 22(1): 28–33. A study looks at providers who depart the field but intend to return By Antonio R. Fernandez, PhD, NRP, FAHA THE TRIP REPORT: TURNING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE

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