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SAMU 192 workforce in Brazil: Composition, operational capacity and assigned procedures




Workforce, prehospital care, emergency medical services, ambulances


With 20 years of implementation in Brazil, the Mobile Emergency Care Service (SAMU 192), reaches 85% of the population, with emergency regulation centers (ERC) and mobile resources (MR), manned by teams of Basic Support of Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS). Objective: To describe and analyze the SAMU 192 workforce, according to professional categories, operational capacity, and attribution of production of procedures in the period from 2015 to 2019. Method: Census, observational, descriptive, and exploratory study that uses data from the ERC quantity and MR, associated with official public data on the workforce and its approved production, extracted from national registry systems of the Unified Health System. Dimensioning projection models were developed to quantify operational capacity from the existing workforce, according to minimum team composition, working hours patterns and operating models. Results: The SAMU 192 workforce grew by 14.3% (MR 17.2% and ERC 3.4%), reaching 41,490 professionals in 2019. At ERC, professionals in final activities grew above 14.4%, while administrative occupations and other higher education professions grew by 61.1% and 59.0%, respectively. In basic MR, nursing technicians and assistants account for more than 51% of the total force, while drivers account for 42.4%. The participation of nurses and doctors grew by 27.4% and 29.8%, respectively. The sizing models revealed that BLS professionals (30 hours/week) would be able to operate up to 67.0% of MR. In the ALS, the number of nurses projects operational capacity above 100%, while the number of doctors (24 hours/week) projects operation of up to 36.5% of the MR, reaching 64.2% in models with 40 hours per week. Nursing technicians were responsible for up to 81.2% of attendances and 75.6% of BLS transports. In the ALS, a team formed by “doctor and nurse” performed up to 69% of emergency and transport care, with a downward trend. More than 30% of care and 28% of transport are attributed to nurses in advanced RM, in the absence of doctors, with a tendency to increase, a phenomenon also observable in aeromedical units and ALS vessels. Conclusion: There was a growth in the number of professionals working in SAMU 192, however, the projections showed the insufficiency in the quantity for the operation of all RM and reflected trends such as the remarkable activity of nursing professionals in emergency care and transport. The insufficiency of the regulations that structure the model and the absence of minimum operating indicators may be at the root of the challenges of insufficient professionals.


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Author Biographies

Marisa Aparecida Amaro Malvestio, Universidade de São Paulo

Programa de Pós-doutorado da Escola de Enfermagem da Universidade de São Paulo

Regina Marcia Cardoso de Sousa, Universidade de São Paulo

Departamento de Enfermagem Médico-Cirúrgica da Escola de Enfermagem da Universidade de São Paulo, EEUSP. O Brasil.



How to Cite

Malvestio, M. A. A., & Sousa, R. M. C. de. (2022). SAMU 192 workforce in Brazil: Composition, operational capacity and assigned procedures. In SciELO Preprints.


Health Sciences