A discussion of what is meant by 'registration' will lead to an overview of what is happening in other professions within Australia, and also what is happening within the paramedic profession internationally. These trends will be explored in light of the changing context of paramedic practice within Australia.
What does registration mean to the profession and what are the advantages and disadvantages involved in the introduction of registration? What impact, if any, will registration have on the paramedic and their practice? Is there a value-added benefit to be gained from registration over the existing situation?
The academic interest in these discussions arises from a number of perspectives. State or national guidelines that outline the standard of professional practice will need to be established, and academic institutions accredited to conduct courses that meet this standard. Similarly, there will need to be formal recognition and accreditation of continuing education programs. Who will bear the responsibility for such accreditations? Who will endorse the standards? What is the best academic model and infrastructure to support registration? Who will bear the ultimate responsibility for the practicing paramedic?
The paper will conclude by perhaps introducing more questions than it has managed to answer, however the purpose is to address the issues. The ultimate focus of professional registration must be to protect the community - will registration lead to this?
MICA Paramedic, BSc, BParamedic Studies, MEd
Andrea's professional background is as a MICA Paramedic and Senior Lecturer at the Monash University Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice.
Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care:
3, Article 27.
Available at: http://ro.ecu.edu.au/jephc/vol1/iss3/27