Objective Investigate the impact to paramedic students of patient monitor simulators, when compared with manikin-based simulators within an educational programme.
Design An exploratory study using an online questionnaire to gain qualitative and quantitative data.
Setting One London university delivering a paramedic science programme.
Participants A total of 136 paramedic students sponsored by a UK ambulance service were approached for this study. Data were received from 43 respondents (32%).
Main outcome measures Comparison of simulators and their effect on student development through the identification of the student’s own perceived ability following use, perception of other’s ability (fellow students studying same course) following use and perception of the two pieces of simulation equipment available.
Results The majority of respondents identified that simulation both increased their confidence and ability to demonstrate new knowledge and skills during simulation (97%) and further increased their ability to manage real patients (95%). Respondents agreed that there were advantages and disadvantages of using simulation, but these were not in line with those identified in previous studies. Instead of the human factors and non-technical skills outlined, students were much more practically focused on how the equipment performed.
Conclusions This study suggests that there is a clear link between simulation and increased student confidence, but any issues encountered with the simulator equipment can reduce this benefit, causing the student’s learning environment to falter. Transitioning to monitor-based simulators is seen as a positive move, although the integration of manikins with this equipment is identified as being necessary.
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