Cultural competency is the ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with people from cultures or belief systems different from one's own. Paramedics work with a wide range of patients in often highly stressful situations. As a result, they need to have a very high level of cultural competency in order to deliver clinical care in an effective and respectful manner. Cultural competency may be acquired by the lived experience of having a protected characteristic (for example being disabled, or a woman) but also through life experiences, and professional training.
To explore the impact of personal diversity, life experiences, and professional training on the level of cultural competency in paramedics.
Objectives and Methods
- Set up a steering group which meets regularly to inform the design, conduct, interpretation and dissemination of the research program. Ideally it will include representatives from patients, carers, paramedics, lecturers, and management.
- Systematic review of cultural competency outcome measures. A comprehensive overview of the quality (i.e., measurement properties) of instruments. Their relevancy and utility for key diversity issues and populations will also be assessed. This will allow evidence-based recommendations for the selection of the most suitable instrument.
- Survey paramedic students and staff in the UK to map their diversity demographics, life experiences, professional training, and cultural competency. Identify any correlations between issues surveyed and levels of cultural competency.
- Conduct focus groups and interviews with student and trained paramedic to explore their acquisition of cultural competency skills and their opinions of the importance of these on their professional practice.
- These findings will inform recommendations for training to develop cultural competency skills
This project will inform the paramedic community on its level of diversity and cultural competency, and suggestions for how to improve cultural competency training.