Simulation Center

Become a Standardized Patient

What is a standardized patient?

An SP is an individual who is trained to role-play or portray a patient with a medical condition, or a patient seeking medication counseling. For example, you might participate as a patient with headache symptoms coming to visit a health care provider – such as medicine or pharmacy student, resident or advanced practice nurse. Students would interact with you to practice clinical skills, which may include medical interviewing, physical exam skills, medication review and counseling skills, health assessment, diagnosis and management. Generally, the interviews are recorded and reviewed with faculty and peers. 

SPs may be used in conjunction with medical simulation. For example, students may be asked to perform an invasive procedure on a task trainer or human patient simulator (mannequin). These simulators allow students to practice invasive procedures such as IV insertion, injections or intubation. SPs perform the communicative role, while the task trainers allow for practice of more invasive clinical skills, all within the same encounter. 

The SP program cases may involve an actual parent or SP portraying a parent.

Standardized patient training

Standardized Patient (SP) Educators prepare simulated/standardized patients for interviews and exams with Marian University’s students, affiliated residents and a variety of healthcare professionals. 

SP training consists of case review, role-playing, and question-and-answer sessions. SP Educators contact eligible SPs regarding their availability for a particular case or assessment.  SPs select activities according to their schedule and personal comfort level.

Types of Standardized Patients (SPS)

 There are various types of SPs in which you can play a significant role in helping shape the health care providers of tomorrow.

Clinical Patient Model

 A clinical patient is an individual who provides students with an opportunity to practice specific techniques used in physical examination and diagnosis. Clinical patients are provided a checklist of the sequence and content of the particular exam. The actual physical exams are conducted with direct supervision of physicians and nurses and are not video-recorded.

Clinical Teaching Associate (CTA)

 A CTA assists in the teaching of basic physical exam skills, e.g. heart and lungs.

Gynecological Teaching Associate (GTA)

 A GTA is a woman who teaches medical students, nurses and resident physicians the technical and communication skills needed to perform an appropriate and comfortable pelvic examination. GTA’s usually work in pairs to teach this exam. These sessions are not video-recorded.

Male Urological Teaching Associate (MUTA)

 A MUTA is a man who assists in the training of the techniques, protocol and communication skills to medical students and other health care providers needing to perform male gender-specific physical examinations – appropriate and comfortable genital and rectal examinations. A MUTA works with a clinician to teach this exam. These sessions are not video-recorded.

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