Paramedic Students' Experiences with Simulation-Based Learning
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Keywords

simulation
learning
medical education
paramedicine
curriculum design
facilitation

Abstract

Technically oriented industries demand job-ready skill sets from employees upon the immediate completion of their post-secondary studies. To meet these needs, many post-secondary institutions have mandated the incorporation of simulation-based learning (SBL) into curriculum, across a wide array of disciplines (Fang, Tan, Thwin, Tan, & Koh, 2011). The purpose of this research was to explore the experiences of three recent graduates of a paramedic program that had engaged in an ambulance simulator used in curriculum at a western Canadian post-secondary institution. An investigation examined how the design and associated physical interactions within an industrial simulation, facilitated in this post-secondary institution, affected learning outcomes and emotion responses of the research participants. Interview data gathered revealed differing personal experiences grouped into four categories associated with learning in SBL: realism, facilitation, learning outcomes, and personal responses. For SBL to be compelling to the learner, it must be realistic, facilitated by properly trained staff, and aligned with clearly established and valid learning outcomes capable of inducing physical and emotions responses. The incorporation of an ambulance simulator to augment a program already rich in SBL was an effective training tool for use in this mobile-healthcare application.

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