Recruitment and Retention of EMTs: A Qualitative Study

Journal of Allied Health

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are critical to out-of-hospital care, but maintaining staff can be difficult. The study objective was to identify factors that contribute to recruitment and retention of EMTs and paramedics. Analysis of focus group responses showed that for a majority of respondents, emergency medical services was not a primary career path. Most respondents entered the industry as an alternate or replacement for a nursing career or as a second career following military medic service. The majority of respondents believed the job was stressful yet rewarding, and although it negatively affected their personal lives, the occupation gave them a sense of accomplishment and belonging. Respondents expressed a preference for EMT education resulting in college credit or licensure versus professional certification. Job-related stress produced by numerous factors appears to be a likely contributor to low employee retention.

Rural and Minority Health Research Center
P. Daniel Patterson, Janice Probst, Katherine Leith, Sara Corwin, M. Paige Powell