Background: Literature suggests that simulation-based learning is an important modality in medical education. Although there is a large body of evidence in other medical fields, there has been little reported evidence of simulation use in paramedic education. This study aimed to report patterns of simulation use in paramedic programs across Canada.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of Primary Care and Advanced Care paramedic programs across Canada. An online questionnaire was distribution to all identified paramedic program coordinators in Canada.
Results: Of the 44 invitations sent, 20 complete responses (45%) were received and analyzed. Paramedic programs reported they own or have access to a wide range of simulation resources. The majority of programs (85%) agreed that simulation directly impacted patient care but only 60% trained faculty on how to design and facilitate simulation. Only 3 programs (15%) reported using simulation as a supplement or to augment training, typically skill-based clinical hours. Standardized patients are underused in simulation. Typical barriers reported to simulation implementation were cost, time, and availability of resources.
Conclusion: Simulation based learning has become an important aspect of multiple health care professions. As the paramedic profession continues to develop, it is important that initial paramedic education incorporates simulation effectively. Faculty education surrounding inexpensive and effective ways to incorporate simulation will likely increase use of simulation in paramedic programs. Future research should investigate how simulation in paramedic education impacts patient outcomes.
Johnston, C William and Batt, Alan M., "Canadian Paramedic program Use of Realistic Simulation in Education (PURSE): a descriptive study." (2019). Faculty & Staff Publications - Public Safety. 32.