• In The Beginning…A Paramedic’s Journey into Research

    by Trystan Donnelly. Last modified: 27/02/14


    No one likes long rambling posts so I’ll make this a short introduction. This series of posts is intended to follow the trials of a paramedic entering the world of research. It starts with a lot of questions, hopefully there will be some answers along the way and in the end maybe there will be some more paramedics out there doing research. Preferably as the lead investigators in their projects!

    There’s no doubt that research is important to our profession. As a relatively new profession we have a long way to go in earning public and professional recognition, in some parts of the world we aren’t even recognized as a profession. In other parts we receive grudging respect but still can’t earn a degree in our field. Performing our own research can serve two purposes. First, we can improve patient care by performing research which is relevant to care in the out of hospital environment. And secondly, we can establish our maturity as a profession and bring about further progress.

    This column will follow my beginnings in research and so, I guess you should know a little about where I’m starting. I’m an “advanced care paramedic” in Canada. If you really want to know what that means drop me a line and I can refer you to the appropriate documents. I also have a B.Sc. in Biology and while this may make me a little peculiar in some parts of the world I can assure you that my B.Sc. provided me with very little practice in genuine research and this really is no advantage!


    Our intent here is to start with the very basic questions and work our way through an entire research project. Incidentally, for those of you who do have a bachelors degree, you should know that my ulterior motive here (finances permitting) is to wind up with a masters degree so there will be some discussion of that as well.

    When all is said and done our hope is that this will serve as a sort of blueprint and a resource for our colleagues who are enthusiastic about research…but are as bewildered and confused about it as I am!

    With Respect,


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    Trystan Donnelly

    Trystan Donnelly

    Trystan is a Canadian Advanced Care Paramedic. After completing a degree in biology at the University of Victoria and the University of Alberta, Trystan returned to the UofA and studied paramedicine. After more than a decade of practice, Trystan's energies have returned to academia where he is an active educator and a nascent researcher.

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    3 thoughts on “In The Beginning…A Paramedic’s Journey into Research

    • Niels Tangherlini says:

      This is a great and needed effort. I would be happy to offer my experience in publishing research and struggle to do so again.

    • Trystan Donnelly Trystan Donnelly says:

      Thanks, that’s fantastic! In the coming weeks and months we will rely heavily on the comments from experienced researchers like yourself to create a dialogue. It is in the ongoing dialogue that we hope to find the answers that will provide direction for this journey…

    • Alan Batt Alan Batt says:

      Hi Niels, as Trystan said, we’d be delighted to have your input on this, drop me a mail at abatt@prehospitalresearch.eu and we can get you involved! Thanks!

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