Posted: May 14th, 2022
1. PhD Research proposal: The exploration in to support needed for front line ambulance staff in the united kingdom: A Qualitative Study 2. Focusing on the emotional and physical demands of working on the front line and how this impacts their social life, their family, friends and wellbeing. aiming to understand their copying mechanisms and how they deal with their work in everyday life. – The next aim is to understand what services are available for front line staff and how peer support groups can aid and hinder ones ability to deal with situations. 3. This study will be qualitative in nature and will explore the experiences of front line staff ( including emergency care assistance, paramedics and technicians ) through the use of interviewing. This research method will allow first hand capture of the individuals stories in their own words. This research will aim to include experienced paramedics, student paramedics, technicians and ECA′s ( emergency care assistants ) – approx 10-15 participants ( potentially 20) within the Surrey and west Sussex region, Which operate under South East Coast Ambulance Service and South Central Ambulance Service 4. I suspect to find that. Social lives are negatively impacted from their job role, from the shift patterns to what they experience on shift, 2. that there is a variety of coping mechanisms ( dysfunctional and functional) including increased alcohol consumption, High BMI due to lack of diet control ect that regardless of being male of female they feel stigmatised in seeking support and that PTSD plays a high contribution to their everyday lives. 5. The primary aim of this phd research: To explore the social and psychological coping strategies of front line ambulance staff. The secondary aim is to understand what support is available to these staff. By interviewing front line staff of different career lengths, this will allow me to compare the two aims. This research will help me understand the changes they have faced with different levels of experience. 6. Potential Research Questions: A. What are the social coping mechanisms of front line ambulance crew ? and how does this impact the demands of their job B. What are the psychological coping strategies of front line ambulance crew? and how does this effect the demands of the job? C. What services are available nation wide and regionally available to support front line staff with the demands of their job? D. Is there similar coping strategies to experienced front line staff, to new front line staff? E. What obstacles do they face in the workplace? F. Is there a difference between the ways males and females manage the demands of their job? G. What coping mechanisms are utilised in managing the obstacles they face? 7. The significance of this research: A. Understand the implications PTSD can have on front line staffs health and wellbeing B. Promote further research in supporting our front line staff C. Provide information in lowering the stigma of seeking support for front line staff D. Support Universities to better prepare student health care professionals. E. Promote better psychological support for all front line staff NHS or Private. This research will be used to: A. Contribute to further research B. Help develop further understanding of the role of front line ambulance staff and how coping mechanisms effect them everyday. C. Contribute to the academic and clinical support for front line staff, focusing on intervention, support and prevention of long term psychological health conditions. D. Support the ambulance service in providing additional support networks for front line staff dealing with trauma from the work place. This research will understand, current support through the trusts ( SECAMB, SCAS), – How PTSD, burnout, stress type’s, functional and dysfunctional coping mechanisms are used in everyday life. Factors that influence stress: age, gender, circadian structure, personality and behaviour, health, sleep, marriage, children, relationships, living conditions, family and friends attitudes, financial, working conditions and hours, shift schedules, time tables, overtime, night shifts, work organisation, social support, public services, community. and ownership of said feelings and emotions Method: Concerns about the increased number of suicides of front line staff in the united kingdom. Currently little research in to the experiences and lives of front line staff and the roles these stressors have. Interviews: Use of semi-structured interview technique Grounded theory technique due to sample size. This technique will allow me to identify categories and sub headings during the research, and will then be linked through coding. Qualitative research methods has been chosen to allow me to make sense of the stories from the participants Semi structured interviews will be the primary method of data collection. The purpose of these interviews is to gain an in-depth understanding of these experiences. Broken down in to 2 experienced front line staff and novice front line staff across their job roles. aiming to gain an insight into their work practices, coping strategies and obstacles. . These interviews will be analysed to find patterns and categories within the data. Participants: Include notice: so early career staff and long term employed staff which will be over 3 years. Participants will be recruited on from both genders to reflect the gender ratio in the workforce. Purposive sampling will be adopted to the study, participants who have a clear understanding of the job role will be invited to the study . The aim of this sampling methods is to gather important information in this particular field of study, and to gather different experiences to gather a varied body of data. therefore will utilise novice and experienced staff. Novice staff: Being on the road for up to 12 months and will be working as a ECA, Tech or paramedic. This will include student paramedics and age 18 years + of both genders. Experienced: Been working on the road for over 3 years, and range in age and gender. This can also include student paramedics who are already qualified ECA′S and Technicians. Procedure: Participants will be recruited via email and will be informed of the aims and study and invited to contact myself if interested and for further information. They will be provided with a consent form and informed that they have the right to withdraw at any time during the study. Confidentiality will be secured and anonymity will be protected by the use of codes and syndromes names. Interviews will take place at a place suitable for them, either in a mutual location, their home or work branches depending on location. The duration of the interview will range from approx 40 minutes to 2 hours depending on wishes and accounts of information shared. I will allow the participant to steer the interview and with what they are comfortable to express., they will also be reminded that they can withdraw from the interview at any moment Each interview will be audio-taped and transcribed Consistent with grounded theory, i will complete a sample of interviews, collect the data and explore the codes and categories within the transcribed data, i will start to attempt to establish links between the interviews at early stages of the research and work closely with my elected supervisor to determine any missing links or chain in questions for the future Data saturation will be research. Interviews: The interviews will help gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences of front line staff and how they manage their experiences in everyday life. A series of questions will be generated with my supervisor from previous research and literature to determine early discussions. Validity and reliability In order to ensure data reliability, the participants will be offered copies of their transсrіpts and provide opportunities to clarify, extend and include information that they wish to ad or change at first instance. Ethical considerations; Due to the nature of the research, i will be required to gain ethical approval from within the university, as well as from the front line organisations that i wish to research within. Take in to consideration researcher bias as someone who currently works in the ambulance service, not front line. This research with stem over 4 years and start in September 2021 and aim to be completed by August 2025.
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