Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Stephanie Bowlin


The material in current emergency medical services (EMS) curricula is insufficient to prepare prehospital emergency medical care personnel recognize the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within their workforce. Prehospital emergency textbooks focus on treating patients affected with PTSD, but there is very little included about how EMS professionals may also be affected. Moreover, supervisors and managers of EMS agencies receive very little education on workforce PTSD in their personnel. The purpose of this study was to understand the educational preparation of EMS supervisors in order to develop a PTSD-awareness course. The research question investigated the educational preparation that EMS supervisors receive. The conceptual framework of the study was Conti-O’Hare’s wounded healer theory. EMS professionals are wounded healers from frequent critical incident exposure. A qualitative approach featuring a case study design was used. The study included 9 participants. A focus group was used that consisted of three paramedics and three emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Separate interviews were conducted with three EMS supervisors. Data gained from the focus group and individual interviews were analyzed through coding with the goal of investigating the education received by EMS supervisors on PTSD. The themes that emerged were EMS supervisors do not receive enough education on workforce PTSD and a course specifically targeted on this subject is needed. Positive social change may be achieved through this study by enabling EMS managers to help paramedics and EMTs cope with a critical incident (CI) improving prehospital healthcare.