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Work in the Simulation Center

Standardized Patient and Standardized Participant Opportunities

Are you interested in becoming a Standardized Patient or Standardized Participant (SP)?

Requirements: A Standardized Patient or Standardized Participant must be a high school graduate. Employment is through a temporary agency used by Winthrop University Hospital.

Becoming a Standardized Patient/Participant

“Real” patients come from all walks of life. And so, in an effort to provide the most authentic experience for the student, Standardized Patients should represent every age, gender, culture, race, shape and size.

While acting experience may be helpful in the portrayal of certain scenarios, it is not mandatory. We look for candidates:

  • who are punctual and reliable
  • with excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • with a genuine interest in helping students learn
  • who are comfortable with their own health and dealing with health professionals
  • with flexible schedules/hours

Job Specifics

Standardized Patient

A Standardized Patient is someone who has been trained to portray, in a consistent, standardized manner, a patient in a medical situation. Standardized Patients, or SPs, are used by Winthrop University Hospital to teach and evaluate students and residents. SPs learn a case based on a real patient other than themselves and are interviewed and/or examined by students/medical staff as though they were that person in the doctor’s office or clinic.  SPs give the patient history and simulate their physical signs such as pain or difficulty walking.  Some are trained actors and actresses but many are lay people who are interested in this type of work. 

During an encounter with a student, the SP may be required to:

  • Present all required history as ‘scripted’ in the case (i.e. past medical history, current case history, family history, sexual history, social history, etc.)
  • Undergo a non-invasive physical exam performed by the student (there are no breast, pelvic, rectal, or testicular exams performed)
  • Portray a character requiring support while working through a difficult emotional situation

During each session an SP might interact with two to eight students depending on the type of exercise. Encounters usually require a physical examination by the student, however, most are non-invasive. SPs should expect to wear patient gowns and be touched during physical exams. Students are expected to treat each SP in a professional, clinical manner just as they would a ‘real’ patient.

Standardized Participant

A standardized participant is an individual other than the patient who is scripted in a simulation to provide realism, additional challenges, or additional information for the learner.  Roles may include; EMS personnel, nurses, receptionists, family members, or patient care technicians. They are provided with a script and coached in how to play the role in the context of the simulation.  Although not required, a clinical background (EMS, RN, RT, PT, OT) is helpful.

Other information: Standardized Patients are not direct employees of Winthrop University Hospital and there is also no guarantee of work beyond that agreed to on a single project basis.

Prospective SPs: The Simulation Center holds interviews for prospective SPs on an as needed basis.  SPs work on a project basis, and may work a few times a year to a few times a month.

Email simcenter@winthrop.org to be considered for the next group interview. Provide the following information in the email: 

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Description of the skills and experience you have related to the work, either in the body of the email or by attaching your resume.
  • Any other information that would assist us in selecting you for an interview.

Do not go directly to the Human Resource Department. Email simcenter@winthrop.org