1st Edition

The Journey from Student to Paramedic in the UK Ambulance Service Social and Cultural issues in Paramedic Development

By John Donaghy, Diane Waller Copyright 2024
    208 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on extensive ethnographic research, this fascinating book highlights the challenges and contradictions faced by neophyte paramedics as they transition from a classroom setting into day-to-day clinical work placements.

    Shining a spotlight on the subculture of the UK Ambulance Service, as well as the paramedic profession more widely, it examines critically how language, cultural meanings, institutionalised rules, professional identity, and working practices determine key behaviours within paramedic practice, providing readers with insight into the profession not seen by members of the public or portrayed by media representations. The book draws on work of seminal authors and experts in the field to provide a sociological perspective on this not only challenging but also, at times, chaotic professional environment.

    Supported by fieldnotes as well as interviews with students and paramedics, the book will be essential reading for any student on the path to becoming a paramedic. It will also be valuable reading for those within the service who wish to better understand the hidden cultural and social components that lie beneath the practice itself.

    1.Introduction.  2.Historical context.  3.Exploring the literature.  4.Methods of enquiry.  5. Findings.  6.Discussion.  7.Reflections and recommendations.  



    John Donaghy is a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, UK. John has had over 30 years working in an NHS ambulance service, initially as an ambulance man in the late 1970s, prior to becoming a paramedic, first responder, flight paramedic, duty officer, paramedic training officer, and tactical support officer. In addition, he has had over 20 years in academia managing both undergraduate and postgraduate paramedic degree programmes. His research interests lie in the professionalisation of professions.

    Diane Waller is Emeritus Professor of Art Psychotherapy (Goldsmiths University of London), Hon. President, British Association of Art Therapists, former Council Member (Health and Care Professions Council), and Group Analytic Psychotherapist (UK Council for Physiotherapy). Her research interests include the sociology of health professions, art therapies with people with progressive illness, stroke, and eating disorders, and intercultural therapy. She is also Series Editor (with Sarah Scoble) of Routledge’s International Research in the Arts Therapies.