School of Health, Community & Social Justice

The School of Health, Community & Social Justice provides the experiential learning and interdisciplinary programs and courses to help prepare students and professionals to contribute to the health, safety and well-being of others at work, at home and in the community.
• Centre for Aboriginal Programs & Services
• Centre for Conflict Resolution
• Centre for Counselling & Community Safety
• Centre for Leadership
• Centre for Professional Health Education
• Paramedic Academy


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Building personal resilience in paramedic students
The present study examined the impact of a 6- to 8-hour, self-paced online resiliency training program to help students training to be Primary Care Paramedics (PCP) mitigate the risks associated with working in a trauma informed work setting. Of the 138 participants, 88 were male and 30 were female, with a mean age of 25.5 years. Of these, 81 students participated in the experimental group (who took the course), and 57 in the control group. Baseline demographic results were examined using bivariate comparisons between the control and experimental, and all were found to be statistically insignificant at p < 0.05 which suggests that there were no differences between the two groups on the pre-test demographic variables. Prior to the intervention there were no significant differences in total resilience or any of the sub-scales (selfreliance, meaningfulness, equanimity, perseverance, and existential aloneness). Following the resiliency training and the practicum experience, the experimental group scored better in total resilience and each of the sub-scores (p < 0.05) except meaningfulness. Results suggest that developing skills to mitigate and manage workplace trauma can reduce or help mitigate the negative impact of exposure to trauma and potentially reduce the risk of developing trauma related mental health problems which may impact the well-being and quality of life of students once employed as a paramedic
Conceptualizing the impact of special events on community health service levels: an operational analysis
Mass gatherings (MG) impact their host and surrounding communities and with inadequate planning, may impair baseline emergency health services. Mass gatherings do not occur in a vacuum; they have both consumptive and disruptive effects that extend beyond the event itself. Mass gatherings occur in real geographic locations that include not only the event site, but also the surrounding neighborhoods and communities. In addition, the impact of small, medium, or large special events may be felt for days, or even months, prior to and following the actual events. Current MG reports tend to focus on the events themselves during published event dates and may underestimate the full impact of a given MG on its host community. In order to account for, and mitigate, the full effects of MGs on community health services, researchers would benefit from a common model of community impact. Using an operations lens, two concepts are presented, the “vortex” and the “ripple,” as metaphors and a theoretical model for exploring the broader impact of MGs on host communities. Special events and MGs impact host communities by drawing upon resources (vortex) and by disrupting normal, baseline services (ripple). These effects are felt with diminishing impact as one moves geographically further from the event center, and can be felt before, during, and after the event dates. Well executed medical and safety plans for events with appropriate, comprehensive risk assessments and stakeholder engagement have the best chance of ameliorating the potential negative impact of MGs on communities.
Empowerment of immigrant and refugee women who are victims of violence in their intimate relationships
The purpose of this research was to enhance our understanding of the unique experiences of immigrant and refugee women who were victims of violence in their intimate relationships, in order to: (1) determine what service delivery factors they found to be empowering and disempowering; and (2) develop recommendations based on the findings to more effectively facilitate their empowerment. Empowering practices were defined as those responses that helped immigrant and refugee women who are victims of violence keep themselves safe and move forward in their lives.
Excellence in paramedic education
Exploring the idea of competence and excellence in paramedic education is timely as stakeholders in Canadian EMS work with the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) to redevelop the National Occupational Competency Profile for Paramedics in Canada (NOCP).
Four dimensions of paramedic practice in Canada: defining and describing the profession
This article presents a framework for describing four dimensions of paramedic practice: Practitioners, Practice Setting, Care and Patient Disposition. The framework emerged from a qualitative study conducted to identify potential research directions and opportunities to advance paramedicine and paramedic education at Justice Institute of British Columbia in Canada.
From diagnosis to discernment: fostering clinical judgement in high fidelity simulations [poster]
My research explores a “gap” separating traditional simulation learning from field practice – a chasm between the comfort of technical competence and the complexity of clinical practice. This study explores the gap through the lens of developing clinical judgment in the context of high fidelity simulations involving recruit paramedics in a Canadian setting.
From learning activities to the meaning of life: fostering professionalism in Canadian paramedic education
This article explores the development of professionalism in paramedic programs of the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), Canada. Professionalism is currently defined as a set of competencies that are embedded as a set of skills and knowledge to be mastered, then applied in simulations and a field practicum. In the second part of the article, professionalism is examined as a broader concept and suggestions are presented for fostering the development of professionalism in the current redevelopment of the JIBC’s Advanced Care Paramedic program
High fidelity simulation in Canadian paramedic education
In 2011, the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) released the second iteration of the National Occupational Competency Profile for Paramedics (NOCP), which contained changes to the overall competency structure (adding a new section) and many of its competencies. This article examines the unique settings in which paramedics practice and the need for an effective high fidelity simulation environment to represent and replicate the complexity and dynamic context of paramedic practice.
Informing a Canadian paramedic profile: framing concepts, roles and crosscutting themes
Paramedicine is a rapidly evolving health profession with increasing responsibilities and contributions to healthcare. This rapid growth has left the profession with unclear professional and clinical boundaries. Existing defining frameworks may no longer align with the practice of paramedicine or expectations of the public. The purpose of this study was to explore the roles paramedics in Canada are to embody and that align with or support the rapid and ongoing evolution of the profession.
Paramedicine in British Columbia: a profile of current research and operational initiatives
British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada. BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) provides ground and air emergency medical services to BC’s 4.75 million inhabitants (Statistics Canada, n.d.) through more than 180 stations in metropolitan, urban, rural, and remote communities throughout the province. BC’s 4,600 paramedics and dispatchers are represented by the Ambulance Paramedics of BC (APBC). Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is a public post-secondary degree-granting institution providing paramedic education and continuing medical education for a wide range of health and community-based practitioners across the province and internationally. This article focuses on current research and operational initiatives, with a particular focus on a Paramedic Association of Canada sponsored study that provided the foundation for the new Canadian Paramedic Profile.
Preventing drug-and alcohol-related harms at music festivals in Canada
Between June and August 2014, at least five young adults died while attending Canadian music festivals, and many more individuals were treated on site or admitted to hospital. It is suspected that use of alcohol or drugs or both might have been a contributing factor in these deaths and illnesses. However, there are no consistent national or provincial guidelines aimed at preventing or responding to drug- and alcohol-related harms at these events. To discuss how to prevent drug- and alcohol-related harms at Canadian music festivals, a national meeting of diverse stakeholders with expertise in health promotion and harm reduction, toxicology, substance use epidemiology, pre-hospital and emergency care, law enforcement, festival production, event security services, and policy and permitting was held in January 2015.
Restoring the honouring circle: taking a stand against youth sexual exploitation
An information, prevention, and capacity-building manual for people working with Aboriginal youth in rural and isolated communities in BC. Identifies a number of culturally appropriate and sensitive global prevention strategies, as well as targeted initiatives, for people who want more information on how to integrate education about sexual exploitation into their work.

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