Initial findings from a predictive model and comparison survey indicate that paramedics’ own attitudes – for example views about regulatory audits or fears of patient addiction – tend to be barriers against the decision to administer morphine.
However, influence from paramedics’ peers seems to provide positive support for pain relief.
Masters researcher* Anthony Weber said he was now planning a longer and more intensive study, tracking parademic science students through graduation and into their first few years as professionals.
As an experienced intensive care paramedic, Mr Weber is on staff as an associate lecturer at CQUniversity, where he is introducing the Bachelor of Paramedic Science.
He makes the point that effective decision making on pain management is in a state of flux across many health professions and, certainly, “the adequate treatment of pain continues to be a major pre-hospital health concern”.
“This research is among the first to use a theoretical model to examine paramedics’ behavioural intent to administer morphine to patients suffering significant pain,” Mr Weber said.
He recommends that the knowledge and actual practice of paramedics should be assessed to ensure they are consistent with current best-pratice evidence.
“The findings propose the development of a supportive peer-learning environment will result in positive pain management behaviour.”
* Mr Weber’s research is supervised by Dr Trudy Dwyer from CQUniversity’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.