• Simulation Use in Paramedic Education Research (SUPER): A Descriptive Study

    by Alan Batt. Last modified: 14/03/15

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    McKenna KD, Carhart E, Bercher D, Spain A, Todaro J, Freel J. Simulation Use in Paramedic Education Research (SUPER): A Descriptive Study. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2015 Feb 9. PMID: 25664774.

    openaccess

     

    Abstract

    Objectives

    The purpose of this research was to characterize the use of simulation in initial paramedic education programs in order assist stakeholders’ efforts to target educational initiatives and resources. This group sought to provide a snapshot of what simulation resources programs have or have access to and how they are used; faculty perceptions about simulation; whether program characteristics, resources, or faculty training influence simulation use; and if simulation resources are uniform for patients of all ages.

    Methods

    This was a cross-sectional census survey of paramedic programs that were accredited or had a Letter of Review from the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions at the time of the study. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square analyses.

    Results

    Of the 638 surveys sent, 389 valid responses (61%) were analyzed. Paramedic programs reported they have or have access to a wide range of simulation resources (task trainers [100%], simple manikins [100%], intermediate manikins [99%], advanced/fully programmable manikins [91%], live simulated patients [83%], computer-based [71%], and virtual reality [19%]); however, they do not consistently use them, particularly advanced (71%), live simulated patients (66%), computer-based (games, scenarios) (31%), and virtual reality (4%). Simulation equipment (of any type) reportedly sits idle and unused in (31%) of programs. Lack of training was cited as the most common reason. Personnel support specific to simulation was available in 44% of programs. Programs reported using simulation to replace skills more frequently than to replace field or clinical hours. Simulation goals included assessment, critical thinking, and problem-solving most frequently, and patient and crew safety least often. Programs using advanced manikins report manufacturers as their primary means of training (87%) and that 19% of faculty had no training specific to those manikins. Many (78%) respondents felt they should use more simulation.

    Conclusions

    Paramedic programs have and have access to diverse simulation resources; however, faculty training and other program resources appear to influence their use.

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    Alan Batt

    Alan Batt

    Paramedic, educator, researcher
    Alan is a critical care paramedic, paramedic educator and prehospital researcher, currently working around the world as an educator and researcher. He has previously worked and studied across Europe, North America and the Middle East. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, and an MSc in Critical Care. His main interests are in care of the elderly, end-of-life care, patient safety, professionalism (including role and identity), and paramedic education.

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