The health promotion is a primary focus of contemporary health systems, and all health care roles in the medical field seek to play a role in the health promotion process. Paramedics are health care practitioners with the responsibility of delivering emergency medical care to critically ill patients before they are taken to the health care facility a role that surfaced in the 1960s (1). The role of paramedics has advanced since then evolved significantly beyond offering only emergency care to playing several other significant roles outside of the hospital to promote health (1). Therefore, this paper discusses the role of paramedics in health promotion.
Paramedics are promoting health by spreading healthcare to the community. Part of the evolution in the role of paramedics in health care is to take healthcare to the ground level by reaching the people in their communities (2). The expansion of healthcare to the community has developed across the globe due to the contemporary challenges in medical care such as new development of disease and diversification of health care needs. Paramedics with their expertise in the provision of health care outside the hospital have thus been a human resource since they are especially mobile within the communities. Paramedics’ facilities are being established in the communities and have proven effective in addressing the social determinants of health and quality of healthcare (3). In the community, the paramedics play roles such as management of urgent but less delicate sicknesses and injuries in the neighborhoods; thus they promote health in the localities by ensuring accessibility and efficiency at the community level.
Paramedics are also promoting health through health education at rural and metropolitan levels. Health education is becoming increasingly important in health promotion with the increase in lifestyles role in community health. The expansion of paramedics’ role to community health education has helped overcome health challenges emerging from geographical challenges and limited healthcare personnel (4). Paramedics are more mobile and acquitted with remote localities and the health education needs of the areas. Also, having the paramedics take on more roles has enabled the distribution of health acre roles among health care practitioners to curb the inadequacy of medical personnel to meet the modern day health care needs (4). By educating the local people, paramedics also reduce the number of health care cases thus easing the pressure of the low health care workforce at the hospitals thus promoting health.
1. Eaton G, Mahtani K, Catterall M. The evolving role of paramedics–a NICE problem to have?. Journal of health services research & policy. 2018 Jul;23(3):193-5.
2. Eaton G. Taking healthcare to the community: the evolving role of paramedics. Journal of Paramedic Practice. 2017 May 2;9(5):190-1.
3. Hilton, T, Michael. Community paramedics: Redefining EMS. Medscape. 2018 Feb;07. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/892055_2
4. McManamny T, Jennings PA, Boyd L, Sheen J, Lowthian JA. Paramedic involvement in health education within metropolitan, rural and remote Australia: a narrative review of the literature. Australian Health Review. 2018 Nov 15.