A follow-up report of occupational stress in urban EMT-paramedics

Rita K. Cydulka, John Lyons, Annie Moy, Kathleen Shay, J. Hammer, James Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A survey completed by 280 nonvolunteer, urban emergency medicine technician (EMT)-paramedics revealed high levels of occupational stress. We used a four-component model of occupational stress in medical environments to show indications that much variation in the manifestation of stress was accounted for by the rank and job description of the EMTparamedic, the district served by the EMT-paramedic, and the patient population served by the EMT-paramedic. Stress exhibited by field EMTparamedics tended to manifest in more negative attitudes toward patients, whereas administrative-level paramedics exhibited more organizational stress. We noted that the age of the EMT-paramedic and the length of time employed as an EMT-paramedic correlated with the level of occupational stress (P < .05). The recent occurrence of significant life events also was significantly related to the level of stress (P < .05). An EMT-paramedic's gender, marital status, and number of calls per shift had no significant correlation to the level of occupational stress. Based on these results, we recommend tailoring occupational stress programs to meet the needs of individual EMT-paramedics. Special attempts should be made to identify and counsel EMT-paramedics who are undergoing stressful life events. Finally, we suggest that rotating EMT-paramedics through various districts on a regular basis may help alleviate the negative impact on patient care in areas that have been identified as particularly stressful. Further studies are needed to verify our hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1156
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1989


  • paramedics, stress
  • stress, paramedics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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