Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Sydney M. Parent


The problem for this study was limited clinical site access for paramedic students causing delays in completion and exacerbating critical staffing shortages in healthcare. The purpose of the study was to explore perceptions of paramedic program directors (PD) in Colorado regarding use of simulation-based education (SBE) to supplement program-determined clinical requirements. Kolb’s experiential learning theory was the conceptual framework that guided this study. Research questions focused on Colorado paramedic PDs’ perceptions about advantages, disadvantages, and barriers involved with replacing program-determined clinical education with SBE. A basic qualitative design was used to capture insights of 6 Colorado paramedic PDs through semistructured interviews; a purposeful sampling process was used to select participants. Emergent themes were identified through open coding, and findings were developed and checked for trustworthiness through member checking, rich descriptions, and researcher reflexivity. Findings revealed that Colorado paramedic PDs recognize a combination of simulation and clinical experiences is the best practice, PDs can control the SBE experience, and logistical challenges can occur. This study has implications for positive social change via providing teachers with strategies and approaches for managing students’ test anxiety. This research contributes to positive social change by illuminating how paramedic PDs approach SBE and clinical requirements to meet student and employer needs. This study provides insights that can help address critical staffing shortages in Colorado’s healthcare system through on-time paramedic education completion in Colorado programs.