Become a Standardized Patient

Are you interested in becoming a Standardized Patient?

We are always adding SPs from different age groups and backgrounds. Just complete and submit the application form found here.

After we receive your application, we’ll contact you and invite you to an orientation session. These are held every few months and give you an opportunity to learn more about us, and about the role of a Standardized Patient. The orientation session runs about  two hours and includes information about how we select SPs for roles, how training works, how often you can expect to work and the types of roles typically performed by SPs.

SP work is based on Faculty and Licensing Board requirements. The summer months are usually slower; the program gets busier once University Programs start again in the fall. Our need to recruit new SPs varies from year to year. You may not be invited to perform a role for several months after your initial application. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you!

Standardized Patient Minimum Qualifications:

  • Ability and willingness to work cooperatively with learners, faculty, and administrators
  • Ability to be instructed by an Standardized Patient (SP) Educator and consistently simulate a case scenario in a standardized, accurate and reliable manner
  • Flexibility and reliability with scheduling and assignments

Standardized Patient Responsibilities:

The Standardized Patient is a valuable learning resource for students when employed properly, and when the patient works to create and maintain a high quality simulation. As a Standardized Patient, you will add value to the learning process and increase your own satisfaction with the SP experience when you remember the following:

  • Reliability and punctuality are of the utmost importance. If you are unable to attend a training session or simulation, you must contact the Standardized Patient Program (SPP) office as soon as possible so arrangements for a replacement can be made. If you leave a voice message or send an email, do not assume that your message has been received until we have contacted you to confirm the cancellation.
  • Arrange to meet the instructor at least 15 minutes prior to your session to discuss the format, use of time in/out and what is expected of you as a SP. This is considered professional preparation time.
  • Do NOT speak to the students “out of role” before or during the simulation – avoid seeing them out of role. This helps with realism.
  • A “time out” is a valuable learning process for the student. When you are in a “time out” period it is important for you to continue the appearance of the patient (ie: facial expressions, body language, etc.). However do not interact with the student or group until “time in” is called and the action resumes.
  • If at any time you are in need of a review, or if you have questions about, or concerns with a simulation, contact the program office to arrange some time with the trainer. It is important to maintain a high quality simulation at all times. It is your responsibility to do so.
  • From time to time a client may ask you to make changes to a simulation. You cannot allow these changes. Your training is based on and informed by an actual patient case. If changes are requested, explain your need to remain as you were initially trained and refer the client to the Program Coordinator.
  • When feedback is required, it should be given using the CORBS method unless otherwise instructed. Feedback is given from the patient’s point of view - your feelings and perceptions as the patient. Feedback must reflect the feeling and perceptions of the patient you are portraying (not your personal feeling). NEVER comment on the student’s techniques – only how you felt (in your role). Do not compare one student’s performance to the others. Feedback is on an individual basis and not comparative.

Duties include the following:

  • Work in a professional manner when interacting with learners, faculty, supervisors and peers
  • Simulate all aspects of the scenario, including history of current problems, affect/behavior and physical finding in a standardized, accurate and reliable manner
  • Accurately and consistently complete checklists
  • Provide feedback to learners in a consistent and constructive manner using the CORBS method
  • Accept ongoing feedback from supervisor/trainer and incorporate into case simulation
  • Inform the program of changes to contact information such as name, telephone and address.

To apply please fill out the Application Form, save the file under your name, and then email it to sppgm@ualberta.ca.