The offshore medic : professional position and status
The aim of the study described in this thesis is to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the professional activities of the offshore medic, in particular, their professional position and current status. The study had three stages. Stages one and two were the pilot and main questionnaires. Stage three was an interview survey. The study also sought to place the professional position of the offshore Medic against a background of sociological literature, outlining the characteristics of both the established and semi-professions. The questionnaire and interview surveys sought to obtain the Medic's personal perceptions with other offshore personnel. The study strongly suggests that Medics do not perceive their professional position and status among colleagues, both onshore and offshore as being very high. While Medics do not seem to leave offshore employment readily, many would prefer to be in another form of employment. Most were committed because of the higher salaries paid offshore. All respondents were involved with administrative duties which have very little connection with emergency care or the prevention of ill-health. In some cases, these duties were almost full time occupations. Medics felt that these non-medical tasks tended to erode away professional status. There was also a constant effort to protect patient confidentiality which created tensions. There was little evidence for the frequently supposed total autonomy given to medics to regulate their day to day activity. There was a strong feeling that counselling and health promotion activities were necessary in the offshore situation. Respondents felt strongly that onshore management should encourage active health promotion and counselling by formulating appropriate policy and ascribing health promotion work to the offshore Medics.