Paramedic transition into an academic role in universities: A qualitative survey of paramedic academics in Australia and New Zealand.

Graham George Munro, Peter O'Meara, Bernice Mathisen




Healthcare professionals who transition into academic roles in universities are confronted with many challenges. Universities offering paramedicine degree programs struggle to find qualified paramedics to assume academic roles, while at the same time little is known about the issues that confront paramedics transitioning into academic roles in universities. A maximal variation sampling method was used to interview 16 paramedic academics in Australia and New Zealand and a thematic analysis was conducted that generated a thematic network that encompassed five areas: the community of practice of paramedicine, the community of practice of academia, entry into a new community of practice, professional identity, and expectations and challenges.  The resulting analysis revealed that new paramedic academics transitioning to academic roles in universities are often under-qualified and underprepared for academic positions. The induction and mentoring processes are often ad hoc and ineffective leaving the new academics feeling isolated and disillusioned. They struggle with establishing or maintaining a professional identity and meeting university expectations related to teaching, research, acquiring a PhD, and publication. Both these communities of practice need to engage in the development and preparation of these new academics so that paramedics will be attracted to these new roles and their transition to academia is a positive process.


Community of practice; academic; induction; mentoring; transition; professional identity

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