How to Self Debrief after an Intense Standardized Patient Role

So you have just completed a difficult scenario, one that was stressful and exhausting. How do you leave the role behind? How do you dump it and not take it home with you? There is not one standard answer of how to “come down” or “shake off” a role, but here are some suggestions:

  • If more than one of you portrayed the same patient you could get together afterwards to let off some steam. Take some time to laugh and joke around!
  • Go and visit a friend to take your mind off the job you just finished.
  • If you need a nap but are having trouble falling asleep, try listening to some soft music or turn your television to the cartoon channel.
  • Talk with one of the many professional actors in our program and ask them to share tips and trick for all kinds of situations.
  • Chat with fellow SPs and share experiences and training techniques.
  • Read a good book.
  • Engage in physical activity.
  • Call our office for a chat at 780.248.1204

Trouble letting go

Do you have trouble concentrating on other things in life because you can’t let go of an SP role that you portrayed for the program?
You could be:
  • Emotionally distressed
  • Tired
  • Depressed
  • Imagining that you have symptoms or the illness that you acted out recently.
  • Playing the role over and over again in your head after the scenario has finished

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge a bad situation that could end up negatively affecting your health. It is important for you to be very aware of your capabilities, both mental and physical.

  • Think sensibly and realistically when accepting a demanding role.
  • Avoid roles that could be too close to tough situations you experienced in the past.
  • If you took on a tough role in the past and had an issue, put a plan in place the next time you take on such a role.
  • If you have done a role more than once and cannot let go no matter how hard you try to forget about it, it might be time to ditch the role for something new or different.
You need to let us know when you are feeling uncomfortable, are having emotional thoughts or cannot stop thinking of a patient that you have been playing.

However you decide to relax and forget about a tough role, just remember that it is all part of life as a standardized patient. It is just as important to come down gradually after portraying a role as it is to learn and prepare for the patient scenario.