Adherence to Professional Code of Ethics from Emergency Medical Technicians and Their Patient's Perspective: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Nursing, School of Nursing, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

2 Nursing Department, Faculty of Medicine, Komar University of Science and technology, Sulimaniya, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

3 Department of Anesthesia, School of Paramedical Sciences, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

4 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

5 Clinical Research Development Unit, Shahid Mostafa Khomeini Hospital, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran

Abstract

Background: Adherence of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to a professional code of ethics is one of the most important aspects of their occupation.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of adherence to the professional code of ethics from the perspective of EMTs and their patients.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. The inclusion criteria for patients were age between 18-65 years, willingness to participate in the study, normal mental status, being medically stable and absence of any chronic mental or psychiatric disorder. The inclusion criteria for EMTs were willingness to participate in the study, having an associate or bachelor’s degree in the medical emergency, working at medical emergency departments and management centers. The exclusion criteria were refusal to continue the study and the necessity of therapeutic intervention while completing the questionnaire. The patients were recruited by cluster sampling. For this reason, first, two hospitals were randomly selected among six hospitals in Arak, Markazi province (Arak, Iran). Then, the list of missions at each shift was extracted by referring to the emergency departments of these hospitals. Afterward, one of the missions in each shift was randomly selected. In this study, a two-part questionnaire was used for data gathering. In this first part, the demographic information of the participants was collected. In the second part, a professional code of ethics for EMTs' questionnaire, including 26 statements in 5 dimensions was used. Finally, the questionnaires were given and completed by the pre-hospital emergency personnel and the transferred patients.
Results: A total of 105 EMTs and 109 patients were randomly selected as they transported patients to the studied hospitals. From the viewpoint of patients, adherence to the professional code of ethics was rated 2% as highly desirable, 39% as desirable, 58% as moderate, and 1% as undesirable. On the other hand, the EMTs rated themselves as 59.8% highly desirable, 37.1% as desirable, and 3.1% as moderate. There was a statistically significant difference between the average score of adherence to a professional code of ethics from the viewpoint of patients versus that of the EMTs (p <0.001).
Conclusion: There was a statistically significant difference between the degrees of adherence to the professional code of ethics by EMTs from their own viewpoint versus that of the patients.

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