Major research projects in 2009–10 have included assessment of the impact of the airway changes (AIME program and KingLT), with practical and written exams and a look at the real-world intubation success. Aspects of this project have been presented at the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians national meeting and the National Association of EMS Physicians annual meeting. Several of our paramedics are leading projects, including surveys on burnout, geriatric frailty, and violence in the workplace, and the development of a National EMS Research Agenda.
The upcoming year will include projects on RESTORE and extended care paramedicine, advanced directives, and the impact of offload delay. Several projects have been awarded external funding through the NSHRF,NELS-ICE, or EMSCC.
This year has also seen improvements in research infrastructure, with the addition of a paramedic research coordinator to the Nova Scotia research team, solidification of the Nova Scotia EMS Research Steering Committee, and development of statistical/technical support relationships.
In 2010–11 the series of projects on the new airway training is wrapping up, and has found that knowledge at 12 months after the course remains better than pre-course, and that the KingLT device reduces the time with no CPR in a cardiac arrest. The third and fourth pieces of this project were presented at this year’s National Association of Emergency Physicians and Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians meetings, along with a project on mission acceptance in helicopter EMS.
The Extended Care Paramedic Initiative has been awarded funding through NELS-ICE and is ongoing. The RESTORE projects are looking at a process map and decision making for prehospital clot-busting drug. Major projects right now also include leadership in the development of a National Research Agenda, and a multi-part study on the impact of offload delay on emergency medical systems. The growing research infrastructure and network of collaboration support this excellent work, and increasing numbers of publications and funded projects are a testament to this. It also promotes the growth of paramedic researchers, and recently completed projects by paramedics include a survey that identifies personality factors associated with burnout, perhaps allowing better coping strategies.
To further the goal of capacity building, this year another objective is to provide more research education for paramedics. Ongoing work by paramedic researchers will deepen our understanding of the exposure to violence in the EMS workplace, and the needs of the frail geriatric population. Bring your ideas or questions to EHSresearch@gov.ns.ca.