Professionalism among paramedic students: achieving the measure or missing the mark?

L Michael Bowen, Brett Williams, Luke Stanke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Professionalism is a pillar of paramedicine. Internationally paramedic curricula emphasize valid assessment of three domains: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains (professionalism). Little is reported on competency measures for professionalism specific to paramedicine. Literature suggests that paramedic students, paramedic practitioners, medical directors, and patients believe that professional attributes should have an increased focus.

Objective: The objective of this scoping review is to outline valid and reliable assessments that evaluate professional behaviors.

Method: This review used Arksey and O’Malley’s six-stage scoping methodology. In September 2016, five databases were searched for articles of relevance; these were MEDLINE, Scopus, Google Scholar, PsycINFO/APA, and EMBASE.

Results: A total of 1587 articles were identified after removal of 468 duplicates. Five articles met the inclusion criteria, two of the articles were from the US and three from UK. The studies range from 2004 to 2014. Three different scales were identified but only two were recommended for use. A US-based scale is composed of 11 items and one generic form of professionalism. The UK scale has 77 items and identified 11 factors within 68 items.

Conclusions: This scoping review serves to describe valid and reliable measures for professionalism among paramedicine by outlining the quantity of instruments evident in the literature. The scoping review aimed to report the scales supporting evidence of validity and reliability. Three scales were identified in a total of five different studies that specifically measured professional attributes in paramedicine. Currently, two scales are available: an evaluation with 11 items and a self-reported questionnaire with 77 items.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-719
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2017

Cite this