Nav: Home

US emergency medical services underrepresented of women and minorities

July 25, 2019

Women and minority groups are underrepresented in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the US and workforce diversity is not likely undergo big changes anytime soon, according to a new ten-year study of almost 700,000 newly certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, published in Prehospital Emergency Care.

"A diverse healthcare workforce can reduce health disparities and inequities in the delivery of care to minority patient populations", said Dr. Remle Crowe, a Research Scientist at ESO in Austin Texas and lead author of the study. EMS serves as an important entry point to the healthcare system for diverse populations. However, few studies have focused on the gender and racial/ethnic diversity of those entering the EMS workforce.

Dr. Crowe and colleagues at The Ohio State University and the National Registry of EMTs, examined the gender and racial/ethnic composition of the 588,337 EMTs and 105,356 paramedics who earned initial National EMS Certification from 2008 to 2017.

Throughout this period, less than a quarter of newly certified paramedics were female (range: 20%-23%). The proportion of newly certified EMS professionals identifying as black remained near 5% among EMTs and 3% among paramedics; and for Hispanics, the proportion rose from 10% to 13% among EMTs and from 6% to 10% among paramedics.

Compared to the US population in 2017, women and racial/ethnic minorities remained underrepresented among newly certified EMS professionals, and these representation differences varied across geographic regions. For example, in the Northeast there were 93% fewer newly certified EMTs who identified as black compared to the US population (4% vs. 11%) and the difference was 138% for new paramedics (4% vs. 11%).

While efforts to increase diversity among healthcare professionals are increasing on a national scale, few have specifically targeted EMS, the authors note.

"Diversity among EMS professionals is important for fomenting multicultural awareness, enhancing patient-provider communication, and improving equality in the delivery of care," said Dr. Crowe. "However, we're unlikely to see substantial changes in the diversity of the EMS workforce in the near future. Women and racial/ethnic minority groups remain underrepresented among recent graduates, and the gaps are more pronounced among paramedics. This is particularly concerning as paramedics provide more critical invasive interventions and make complex, time-sensitive decisions regarding care.

"Improving diversity in the EMS workforce will require coordinated national recruitment efforts to encourage underrepresented groups to pursue careers in EMS, the authors conclude. Examples of direct and indirect practices that could lead to increased recruitment include partnerships with schools, particularly elementary and middle schools, and community engagement initiatives that involve youth activities and classes.

Taylor & Francis Group

Related Diversity Articles:

Revealing Aspergillus diversity for industrial applications
In a Feb. 14, 2017 study published in Genome Biology, an international team report sequencing the genomes of 10 novel Aspergillus species, which were compared with the eight other sequenced Aspergillus species.
Important to maintain a diversity of habitats in the sea
Researchers from University of Gothenburg and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) show that both species diversity and habitat diversity are critical to understand the functioning of ecosystems.
Discovering what shapes language diversity
A research team led by Colorado State University is the first to use a form of simulation modeling to study the processes that shape language diversity patterns.
Making the switch to polarization diversity
New silicon photonic chip that offers significant improvement to the optical switches used by fiber optic networks to be presented at OFC 2017 in Los Angeles.
Deciphering the emergence of neuronal diversity
Neuroscientists at UNIGE have analysed the diversity of inhibitory interneurons during the developmental period surrounding birth.
Epigenetic diversity in childhood cancer
Tumors of the elderly carry many DNA mutations that can influence disease course.
Diversity without limits
Now, researchers at Temple and Oakland universities have completed a new tree of prokaryotic life calibrated to time, assembled from 11,784 species of bacteria.
Threatened by diversity
Psychologist Brenda Major identifies what may be a key factor in many white Americans' support for Donald Trump.
Diversity as natural pesticide
Monoculture crops provide the nutrient levels insect pests crave, explains a study led by the University of California, Davis, in the journal Nature. Returning plant diversity to farmland could be a key step toward sustainable pest control.
A missing influence in keeping diversity within the academy?
A new study of science Ph.D.s who embarked on careers between 2004 and 2014 showed that while nearly two-thirds chose employment outside academic science, their reasons for doing so had little to do with the advice they received from faculty advisors, other scientific mentors, family, or even graduate school peers.

Related Diversity Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...