Improving simulation debriefing in paramedic education: the Paramedic Debrief Model


constructive alignment

How to Cite

Wilson A, Asbury E. Improving simulation debriefing in paramedic education: the Paramedic Debrief Model. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2019Apr.8 [cited 2023Jan.31];160. Available from:



Simulation training is widely used in paramedic education. Quality of debriefing is central to optimising learning from educator-facilitated simulation training. There is considerable variation in the provision of simulation debriefs by paramedic educators, often leading to a varied perception of the quality of debrief by both students and tutors. There are currently no standardised debrief tools specific to paramedic practice. The purpose of this study was to provide a rationale and theoretical framework for the development of a paramedic specific model for simulation debrief, the Paramedic Debrief Model (PDM), that reflects the key elements of optimal debrief practice, feedback and reflective learning principles and that is aligned to a construct of paramedic competencies.


A systematic literature review was conducted that focussed on two areas: best practice, principles and models for simulation debrief and constructs for paramedic competencies. Emergent theme analysis was used to identify key components of effective simulation debrief and a construct of paramedic competencies that could be incorporated into the debriefing tool.


It was identified that an optimal simulation debrief transitions sequentially through the elements of reaction, recollection, reflection, analysis and application. The construct of paramedic competencies best aligned with paramedic education consist of eight elements: communication, resource utilisation, ethics, situational awareness, decision making, patient assessment, history gathering and procedural skills. These themes were combined to create the PDM.


The study identified the key elements of an optimal simulation debrief and incorporated a construct of paramedic competencies to create the PDM. The PDM offers an evidence-based, structured approach to paramedic simulation debriefing and has potential to be utilised as an optimal strategy for facilitating simulation debriefs in paramedic education.


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