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Incidence and impact of incivility in paramedicine: a qualitative study

Credland, Nicola Jane; Whitfield, Clare



Background: Incivility or rudeness is a form of interpersonal aggression. Studies suggest that up to 90% of healthcare staff encounter incivility at work with it being considered 'part of the job'. Methods: Qualitative, in-depth, semistructured interviews (n=14) undertaken between June and December 2019. Purposive sampling was used to identify front-line paramedics working for one NHS Ambulance Trust. Interviews lasted between 16 and 45 min, were audiorecorded, verbatim transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Four themes were identified: paramedics reported a lack of respect displayed both verbally and non-verbally from other professional groups. The general public and interdisciplinary colleagues alike have unrealistic expectations of the role of a paramedic. In order to deal with incivility paramedics often reported taking the path of least resistance which impacts on ways of working and shapes subsequent clinical decision-making, potentially threatening best practice. Finally paramedics report using coping strategies to support well-being at work. They report that a single episode of incivility is easier to deal with but subsequent episodes compound the first. Conclusions: This study highlights the effect incivility can have on operational paramedics. Incivility from the general public and other health professionals alike can have a cumulative effect impacting on well-being and clinical decision-making.


Credland, N. J., & Whitfield, C. (in press). Incidence and impact of incivility in paramedicine: a qualitative study. Emergency Medicine Journal,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 15, 2021
Online Publication Date May 26, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 27, 2021
Journal Emergency Medicine Journal
Print ISSN 1472-0205
Electronic ISSN 1472-0213
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine; Emergency Medicine; General Medicine
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