Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Emergency Medical Services Providers' Perceptions of Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, and Older Adult Patients
by King, Laura Kimberley, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2018, 180; 13419474
Abstract (Summary)

While inequalities in prehospital care may be attributed to ageism, studies that examine the perceptions of age and aging among prehospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers are lacking. This qualitative study addressed this gap in the literature by utilizing grounded theory methodology and ethnographic interviewing techniques to more deeply understand EMS providers’ perceptions of age and aging. Over 22 hours of audio were collected from 17 EMS providers, each with a minimum of 5 years EMS experience. Results of thematic analysis revealed a significant, overarching theme: EMS providers’ strong dislike of nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ALFs). Two other themes emerged that related to the first theme, with EMS providers reporting the belief that responses to nursing home/ALFs are typically non-emergent, or not requiring an urgent response, and feelings of futility regarding the care of nursing home/ALF patients. In contrast to these perspectives on nursing home/ALF organizations, analysis revealed that participants tended to view older adult patients as generally more time-consuming in comparison to younger adult patients, interesting storytellers, and grateful patients. Given that older adults utilize EMS more than any other age group, understanding how providers perceive age and aging is crucial. Implications of these findings and their potential effects on patient care as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schumacher, John
Commitee: Bissell, Rick, Eckert, Kevin, Gruber-Baldini, Ann, Miller, Nancy, Rubinstein, Robert
School: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Department: Gerontology
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Medical personnel, Social research, Gerontology, Aging
Keywords: Ems, Older adults, Prehospital
Publication Number: 13419474
ISBN: 978-0-438-80101-1
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