Standardized Patient Program

"The Simulated/Standardized Patient (SP) is a person who has been carefully coached to simulate an actual patient so accurately that the simulation cannot be detected by a skilled clinician.  In performing the simulation, the SP presents the gestalt of the patient being simulated; not just the history, but the body language, the physical findings, and the emotional and personality characteristics as well."
From HS Barrows
Simulated (Standardized) Patients and Other Human Simulations, 1987

At the Simulation Education Center, The Standardized Patient/Person (SP) is a person who has been trained to simulate an actual healthcare professional, family member or patient so accurately that the simulation cannot be detected by a skilled health care worker.  SPs are specifically trained to not only represent the context of a situation or problem, but to also consistently recreate that same situation or problem each time they encounter a Simulation Education Center learner.

What can an SP do in an encounter/scenario?

  • Record what happens
  • Give information
  • Reproduce history & physical
  • Give feedback
  • Create a real experience

What can an SP not do in an encounter/scenario?

  • Make a judgment about medicine
  • Have invasive medical procedures
  • Interpret clinical reasoning
  • Be defibrillated
  • Simulate surgery

Who is hired for SP work?

People with many different backgrounds can be employed as SPs, including librarians, school teachers, retired college professors, actors, medical technicians, retired businessmen, college students, accountants, and homemakers.  In addition, we sometimes hire people specifically for their particular medical histories or real physical findings. On occasion, the Simulaton Education Center uses children as SPs. In these instances, the child is NOT hired by Arkansas Children's Hospital, rather, the parent is the paid SP. The parent must accompany the minor child to all SP trainings and scenarios.

For more information about the Simulation Education Center, call us at 501-364-7899.