Vol 6, No 4 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-12-14

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Paramedics’ educational needs regarding cultural competence: cross-sectional study of selected two regions of Poland

Jerzy Kiszka1, Romuald Krajewski1, Krzysztof Jurek2
Disaster Emerg Med J 2021;6(4):164-171.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Approximately 743 700 foreigners reside permanently in Poland, and 180.2 million visit
Poland every year. Paramedics should be prepared to assist foreigners whose expectations and needs related
to their culture may be different than those typical of Poles. Education on cultural competence should
therefore be a part of both undergraduate education and professional development. The aim of the study
was to assess the educational needs of paramedics working in the National Medical Emergency System in
terms of cultural competence.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study group consisted of all paramedics working in National Medical Emergency
System in the Subcarpathian and West Pomeranian provinces. Responses were obtained from 563 out
of the total of 2229 participants invited to participate in the study. The questionnaire used to study the educational
needs of paramedics was created by a team of executors of the international project Multicultural
Care in European Intensive Care Units (MICE-ICU) and adapted to study paramedics.
RESULTS: Paramedics from the Subcarpathian province (M = 3.56; SD = 0.67) reported greater educational
needs in terms of cultural competence than their colleagues from the West Pomeranian province (M = 2.84;
SD = 0.82, p < 0.001). In the Subcarpathian province, 80.4% of paramedics declared willingness to improve
their knowledge of foreign languages, while in the West Pomeranian province this number amounted to
45.9%. In both provinces, paramedics with MSc in another field of study and BSc in emergency medical
services reported greater educational needs compared to paramedics with lower education. In the Subcarpathian
province, the preferred form of education was a conference (60.8% of respondents), while in the
West Pomeranian province the respondents opted for workshops with experts representing various ethnic
and religious groups (39.4%). The percentage of paramedics interested in online courses on multicultural
emergency medicine was 41.74%.
CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that paramedics from provinces located on opposite ends of the
country who had contact with different groups of foreigners have great educational needs in the field of
cultural competence and education in this area should be a constant part of professional development.
Conferences and workshops are the preferred form of education.

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