Paramedic Transition into an Academic Role in Universities: A Demographic and Qualification Survey of Paramedic Academics in Australia and New Zealand.
Authors: G Munro, P O'Meara, A Kenny
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To identify the demographic and qualification characteristics of paramedic academics holding teaching and research
positions at universities in Australia and New Zealand offering entry-level undergraduate or postgraduate degree
programs in paramedicine.
A 17 item online normative internet survey was used to obtain demographic and qualification characteristics about
the target group. The survey was divided into five categories: demographic data, professional qualifications,
educational qualifications, learning and teaching experience, and level of academic skills. Data were collected over a
two-month period in 2013 and then collated and reported utilising the capabilities of the Survey Monkey program.
Of the estimated 66 eligible participants, 30 responded to the survey, 70% were male, the average age when
entering academia was 43 years, and the average age when initially entering paramedicine was 23 years. Two-thirds
completed their paramedic training in Australia and New Zealand, with the other third training in the UK, US, or
Canada. There was a wide-range of levels of training and qualification reported with three having a PhD on entering
academia, while most had little to no experience in research, academic writing, and publication.
Issues of the transference of cultural and professional capital from one community of practice (CoP) into another, the
variance in the levels of academic qualifications amongst paramedics when entering academia, and the resources
needed to mentor and educate a large majority of these new academics pose significant challenges to new
academics and the universities employing them.