Paramedics are routinely exposed to traumatic incidents that include physical injuries; these events may manifest into psychosocial injury. Proactive and preventive measures have the potential to mitigate the negative impact of exposure to traumatic events. Enhancing an individual’s capacity to effectively manage stressful/adverse life events through an online resilience resource (ORR) offers a promising option for paramedics. The aim of this study is to investigate the initial impact of an ORR on resilience and to explore the potential skill decay following this self-guided online resource among pre-employment paramedic trainees.
Through a repeated measures design, 227 primary care paramedics from British Columbia, Canada completed a baseline resilience assessment and ORR. A subset of participants completed follow-up resilience assessments at 3 to 6 month or 9-month intervals.
Between the baseline and 3-month follow-up tests, results indicate that self-report resilience scores showed a slight improvement. However, as time increased to 6 or 9 months, a statistically significant decrease in resilience scores in comparison to the baseline was observed.
This study presents evidence to suggest that an educational tool such as an online self-paced training program for building resilience may be an effective strategy for improving short-term personal resilience among primary care paramedic students. Given the gradual skill decay associated with an ORR, we can highlight the temporal limits of resilience training. Developing additional resilience training programs to be delivered throughout students’ pre-employment education may help reduce skill decay.
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