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.
-end-


Taylor & Francis Group

Related Diversity Articles:

Cultural diversity in chimpanzees
Termite fishing by chimpanzees was thought to occur in only two forms with one or multiple tools, from either above-ground or underground termite nests.
Bursts of diversity in the gut microbiota
The diversity of bacteria in the human gut is an important biomarker of health, influences multiple diseases, such as obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases and affects various treatments.
Underestimated chemical diversity
An international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals: some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world -- well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates.
New world map of fish genetic diversity
An international research team from ETH Zurich and French universities has studied genetic diversity among fish around the world for the first time.
Biological diversity as a factor of production
Can the biodiversity of ecosystems be considered a factor of production?
Fungal diversity and its relationship to the future of forests
Stanford researchers predict that climate change will reduce the diversity of symbiotic fungi that help trees grow.
Brain diseases with molecular diversity
Parkinson's and multisystem atrophy (MSA) - both of them neurodegenerative diseases - are associated with the accumulation of alpha-synuclein proteins in the brain.
United in musical diversity
Is music really a 'universal language'? Two articles in the most recent issue of Science support the idea that music all around the globe shares important commonalities, despite many differences.
Genetic diversity facilitates cancer therapy
Cancer patients with more different HLA genes respond better to treatment.
A new ranavirus threatens US amphibian diversity
In a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Ecological Modelling, a team of University of Tennessee researchers along with a colleague from the University of Florida model how a chimeric Frog virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus, also known as RCV-Z2, can spread rapidly throughout a population of North American wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles.
More Diversity News and Diversity Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Our Relationship With Water
We need water to live. But with rising seas and so many lacking clean water – water is in crisis and so are we. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around restoring our relationship with water. Guests on the show include legal scholar Kelsey Leonard, artist LaToya Ruby Frazier, and community organizer Colette Pichon Battle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Uncounted
First things first: our very own Latif Nasser has an exciting new show on Netflix. He talks to Jad about the hidden forces of the world that connect us all. Then, with an eye on the upcoming election, we take a look back: at two pieces from More Perfect Season 3 about Constitutional amendments that determine who gets to vote. Former Radiolab producer Julia Longoria takes us to Washington, D.C. The capital is at the heart of our democracy, but it's not a state, and it wasn't until the 23rd Amendment that its people got the right to vote for president. But that still left DC without full representation in Congress; D.C. sends a "non-voting delegate" to the House. Julia profiles that delegate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and her unique approach to fighting for power in a virtually powerless role. Second, Radiolab producer Sarah Qari looks at a current fight to lower the US voting age to 16 that harkens back to the fight for the 26th Amendment in the 1960s. Eighteen-year-olds at the time argued that if they were old enough to be drafted to fight in the War, they were old enough to have a voice in our democracy. But what about today, when even younger Americans are finding themselves at the center of national political debates? Does it mean we should lower the voting age even further? This episode was reported and produced by Julia Longoria and Sarah Qari. Check out Latif Nasser's new Netflix show Connected here. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.