The Place of Occupational Risks in Prehospital Emergency Care Education
Sinan Yenal1, Alp Ergör2
1Dokuz Eylül University, Health Care Services Vocational School, Department Of Paramedics, İzmir. Turkey
2Dokuz Eylül University, School Of Medicine, Department Of Public Health, İzmir
Keywords: Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technician, Occupational Accidents, Occupational Diseases, Prehospital Emergency Care
Objectives: This study aims to assess the level of knowledge on occupational risk factors among senior students of the Department of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) in Medical Vocational High Schools (MVHS) and of the Paramedic Program in Health Care Services Vocational Schools, who are expected to start a career in 112 emergency health care ambulances after graduation.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a total of 6 MVHSs (n=138) and 2 universities (n=34) in the vicinity of Izmir, which have an EMT department and a Paramedic department respectively. The data were collected by using 2 structured forms during an hour of class when the participants filled in the forms. Occupational risk factors were divided into four groups: physical/ergonomic, biological, environmental and psychological.
Results: 88.9% of the population (n=153) was reached. 85.6% of the participants (n=131) were women. 91.5% of the participants (n=140) indicated that they were satisfied with their professions. 72.6% did not perform physical activities sufficiently, and 85.6% were not smokers. The mean score for the level of knowledge among Paramedic and EMT students combined was 5.75 ± 0.79. When the two groups were compared, it was found that both the mean total score and mean knowledge score for risk factors were significantly higher among the students studying in paramedics programs (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The mean score for the level of knowledge on occupational risk factors were low for both groups. This suggests that a very important element of work life goes underemphasized over the course of professional education.