Purpose: To investigate and analyse the role of practice-assisting manpower in the emergency care centers of teaching hospitals for more efficient allocation of the workload in hospitals to provide better medical care.
Methods: We enrolled a total of eight practice-assisting manpower in four emergency care centers of teaching hospitals located in Daejeon Metropolitan City and Chungcheong Province areas. The current demographics and conditions of practice-assisting manpower and their work schedules were surveyed and collected. Board-certified emergency physicians from each hospital observed tasks performed by practice-assisting manpower for 60 minutes during both day and night shifts, and data collected were analysed by time-motion study method.
Results: The practice-assisting manpower participants were of certified first-ranked Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). The mean working hours per week were 42.5 ± 3.3 h. The total number of performed tasks during the study period was 275 items (day shift: 141, night shift: 134) in total observation time. Tasks performed were divided into three categories: procedure-assisting (87 items), treatment-assisting (169 items), and personal activities (19 items). The time consumed for procedure-assisting tasks, treatment-assisting tasks, and personal activities were recorded as 8 h 35 min 47 s, 4 h 27 min 41 s, and 2 h 56 min 32 s, relatively.
Conclusion: Though some items in both procedure-assisting and treatment-assisting tasks were classified as beyond the scope of work of EMT, it is observed that the role of practice-assisting manpower in emergency care is critical and significant for efficient patient care in the emergency care settings. This further suggests reconsidering the functions of practice-assisting manpower and reallocates duties among the workforce of emergency medical service providers for the present and future.