Emergency medical services (EMS) educational standards in Saudi Arabia have developed at an unprecedented rate, and the rapid pace of development has resulted in a considerable disparity of educational approaches. Therefore, an empirically based core competency framework should be developed. The aim was to utilize exploratory factor analysis (EFA) in the reduction and generation of a theoretical Saudi competency model.
A purposive sample was utilized in a national quantitative cross-sectional study design of Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) healthcare workers. The instrument comprised 41 core competency items rated on a Likert scale. EFA alpha factoring with oblique promax rotation was applied to the 41 items.
A total of 450 EMS healthcare providers participated in the study, of whom 422 (93.8 per cent) were male and 28 (6.2 per cent) female. Of the participants, 230 (60 per cent) were aged 29–39 years and 244 (54.2 per cent) had 5–9 years of experience. An EFA of instrument items generated five factors: professionalism, preparedness, communication, clinical and personal with an eigenvalue > 1, representing 67.5 per cent of total variance. Only variables that had a loading value >0.40 were utilized in the factor solution.
The EFA model Saudi ParamEdic Competency Scale (SPECS) has been identified, with 27 core competency items and five overarching factors. The model has considerable similarities to other medical competency frameworks. However, some aspects are specifically unique to the Saudi EMS context. The SPECS model provides an academic blueprint that can be used by paramedic educational programs to ensure empirical alignment with the needs of the industry and community.
An acknowledgment of gratitude to all the Saudi EMS industry participants who took part in this study. Conflict of interest: None.
AlShammari, T., Jennings, P. and Williams, B. (2020), "National study of emergency medical services core competencies in Saudi Arabia: An exploratory factor analysis", International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJES-08-2019-0048Download as .RIS
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