The Effects of Stress on Medical Errors in Simulation-Based Training

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa


paramedic, simulation, simulation-based, task-trainer, stress, COVID-19


The purpose of this study was to identify the frequency of medical errors due to the effect of stress during simulation-based scenarios. Paramedicine students were observed during the second year of a twenty-one month program. All of the participants had already completed the didactic portion of the program. The students who enrolled in a skills course were selected as participants. The skills course utilized simulated scenarios to allow the students to practice assessment and perform various skills. Prior to any participation in the study, the participants completed a questionnaire indicating levels of confidence in the performance of skills and in the levels of stress during various activities. The questionnaire was repeated following the participation in all portions of the study. The incidence of medical errors were observed during specific skills on task-trainers and again while performing the same skills during a full simulation-based scenario. The results would have been analyzed and reviewed at the end of the study.

During the Spring Semester of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the United States. Due to the pandemic, the progression of this study was suspended; students of the graduate program were directed to conduct an auto-ethnographic study utilizing journaling as a means to collect data. The results of the study revealed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching practices in a distance-learning environment. Instructional delivery, course planning, emotional responses, communication, home-life, and graduation requirements were identified as themes throughout the journaling process by the researcher. The conclusion was that one must remain responsive and adaptive in delivering education during these circumstances.

Abstract only: No full text available.