Clinical skills form the basis of paramedic education and training, but the broader cultural context presents an even greater challenge to the quality of paramedic and health professional practice. Since the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the development of initiatives at international, national, state and professional levels have progressively responded to the growing demand for culturally responsive health care within the rising cultural milieu.
In the paramedic context, these initiatives provide strong support for paramedics to take action and champion this advance in an increasingly multicultural society. Wide-ranging initiatives represent a hierarchy of knowledge which not only underpin the importance of teaching cultural diversity in paramedic education, but offer a sound rationale for advancing culturally responsive care to incorporate ‘best practice principles’ in paramedic practice. More importantly, acceptance of these initiatives pays heed to and respects culturally diverse patients.
The lack of a readily accessible single compendium in the area of culturally responsive health care in paramedic education or practice validates the need for this paper, which extracts information from relevant and significant declarations, conventions and guidelines at international, national and state levels and thus, serves as a resource for paramedics and other health professionals. The objectives of this compendium are to present the range of initiatives which underpin cultural diversity education and practice for paramedics, and to highlight the need of an awareness of these for all health professionals.