The transition from clinician to manager: the paramedic experience


clinician; experience; management; paramedic; professional isolation; qualitative research.

How to Cite

Stewart K, Cope V, Murray M. The transition from clinician to manager: the paramedic experience. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2021Jan.3 [cited 2023Feb.6];18. Available from:



Promotion from paramedic to manager is common in ambulance services, yet there is limited research concerning paramedics’ experience of this role transition. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of paramedics who have transitioned from clinician to manager.


A qualitative approach was used for this study. Through purposive sampling, semi-structured interviews were conducted with paramedics who had made the transition to manager. The participants were asked to describe how they felt and what their experiences were concerning this transition. Thematic analysis was undertaken identifying themes within participant responses.


Six key themes emerged during the data analysis. Participants described feelings of isolation on moving from the frontline, a lack of feeling part of the team ‘in green’; however, they also reported that previously being a paramedic in some instances gave credibility in their new manager roles. Challenges reported concerned no formal training before transitioning into the role, and the lack of essential managerial experience.


This research provided insight into how paramedics feel and perceive the transition from clinician to management roles. A review of the organisational approach to role transition is of benefit to paramedics. Such a review may help identify what changes could be made in support of paramedics transitioning to management roles. Further research is required across other ambulance services to determine the efficacy of these results in the broader ambulance service environment.

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