Assessment Work of Paramedics on the Front lines of Emergency Health Services

Michael K. Corman

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This article draws on an institutional ethnographic inquiry into the work of paramedics and the institutional setting that organizes and coordinates their work processes. Drawing on over 200 hours of observations and over 100 interviews with paramedics (average length of 18 minutes) and other emergency medical personnel, this article explores the standard and not so standard work of paramedics as they assess and care for their patients on the front lines of emergency health services. More specifically, I focus on the multiplicity of interfacing social, demographic, locational, situational, and institutional factors that shape and organize the work of paramedics. In doing so, this article provides insights into how paramedics orient to the social context in which their work occurs and contrasts this actual work with how their work is institutionally reported and made visible; what gets counted institutionally is not necessarily the same as what counts for the paramedics. This article problematizes this demarcation between what is known institutionally and “systematic practices of ‘not knowing’” (DeVault, 2008, p. 290).
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2015
    Event85th Annual Meeting: Eastern Sociological Society 2015 - New York, United States
    Duration: 26 Feb 201501 Mar 2015


    Conference85th Annual Meeting: Eastern Sociological Society 2015
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityNew York


    • Emergency Health Services
    • Paramedic
    • Institutional Ethnograpy
    • Health work
    • Reform and Restructuring
    • neoliberalism
    • Assessment
    • Qualitative Health Research


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