Paramedic judgment and decision-making, not unlike much of ambulance practice, have not been the subject of systematic, sustained research. There exists a paucity of research or inquiry that examines the mechanics of human error in paramedic practice, ambulance or pre-hospital settings. Little is known of how paramedics make judgments and decisions, and how paramedics deal with risk and uncertainty they commonly face in their tasks and the environment in which they work in. The literature and theories on judgment and decisionmaking are as extensive as they are controversial and the scientific community is yet to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the risk and uncertainty in judgment and decisionmaking.
The following paper provides an introduction to the concepts of error, risk, and uncertainty in the context of paramedic judgment and decision-making, discussion of two analytic frameworks that examine such error, risk, and uncertainty, and commentary on their application to the paramedic setting.