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MHC coordinator published in scholarly journal

Paramedic coordinator Scott Mullin stands in front of ambulance simulator
January 3, 2020

Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) paramedic program coordinator, Scott Mullin, can now add “published author” to his list of credentials, as his Master’s thesis research paper was recently published by the peer-reviewed health and medical journal, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine (PDM).

Mullin’s thesis paper, titled “The Effect of Operator Position on the Quality of Chest Compressions Delivered in a Simulated Ambulance,” was published online by Cambridge University Press on Dec. 9, 2019, and will be printed in an upcoming issue of the PDM journal in early 2020.

Publication of a scholarly article is prestigious in the world of research, due to the length and nature of the peer-revision process. When a research paper is published, it signifies the research contains validity to a scientific perspective to make improvements in the profession.

“In order to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, you first submit your paper to the journal’s editor for review. If the editor believes the paper is a good fit for the journal, it is then reviewed by a board of expert professionals to ensure the research and findings are valid, credible and meet the standards of Cambridge University Press,” explains Mullin.

The entire process took approximately three months as Mullin’s paper was accepted by Cambridge University Press on the first submission, with minor revisions required prior to publication.

Mullin was required to base his research on simulation and wanted to bring it back to his roots in paramedicine, focusing on patient care and the safety of paramedics in the back of the ambulance.

He decided to focus on chest compressions and compare the quality of chest compressions done by paramedics in two positions, standing versus sitting and restrained by wearing a lap belt. The simulation research was done at MHC with the help of 24 paramedic student volunteers who tested the two positions. In conclusion, the findings showed that a seated and secured position is inferior compared to an unsecured and standing position, which demonstrated that paramedics must compromise their own safety to deliver effective chest compressions.

Mullin, the lead on the project, says he couldn’t have done it on his own. He is grateful for the support of his supervisors and professors, Sinéad Lydon and Paul O’Connor, who assisted him throughout the process and are listed as co-authors on the paper. He is also appreciative of the students for their involvement and the institution for allowing him to conduct the research at MHC.

“It’s so cool to have completed all of the research here at MHC, with our students and our equipment,” says Mullin. The published paper also included illustrations by MHC’s graphic designer and multimedia developer, Andrea Woods, making the project a true team effort of faculty, staff and students.

Now being a published author, Mullin says it “still feels surreal and that it’s an honour to have been able to contribute to the paramedic profession through evidence-based research.”

Mullin’s published article can be found online here.