Simulated Patient Information

This position is currently accepting applications. https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/6259797

Questions can be directed to Human Resources at humanresources@medicine.illinois.edu.

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine is seeking individuals from all backgrounds to perform the role of a Simulated Patient (SP) in the training and evaluation of medical students. Simulated Patients are interviewed and examined (just as you would be by your family doctor) by male and female medical students. Simulated Patients may see students on a one-to-one basis, or there may be a group of medical students working with the simulated patient in a controlled teaching session. Simulated Patients will be trained to accurately and consistently recreate the history, personality, physical findings, and emotional structure and response pattern of an actual patient.

Attributes of a Simulated Patient: reliable, professional, excellent listening and communication skills, attention to detail including memorization, and ability to stay ‘in character’. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older to be considered for the position.

Rate of pay is $10.50/hour for training. Position is part-time. Assigned work hours are variable and may be sporadic.

Levels of Invasiveness:

Non-invasive:
Activities: These individuals can portray cases requiring minimal skill (i.e. surgery consent) to complex cases (i.e. multiple personalities). An invidivual’s expertise level is matched with the case and department objectives.
Clothing: The individual is fully clothed in street clothes involving communication only.
Rate of Pay: $21.00/hour

Moderately Invasive:
Activities: This includes activities such as look into eyes, ear, nose, throat, blood pressure, pulse, and listen with a stethoscope to the heart and lungs, test reflexes, abdomen examination.
Clothing: The individual is wearing bicycle shorts and a sports bra underneath a hospital gown.
Rate of Pay: $35.00/hour

Invasive:
Activities: This includes activities such as breast exam, pelvic exam, rectal exam. Only simulated patients who have requested to become a level 4 patient and undergo proper training with the simulated patient educator will be considered for these types of cases
Clothing: The simulated patient typically wears a hospital gown.
Rate of pay: $50.00/hour

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a written contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit http://www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.

Simulated Patients: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a simulated patient?

A simulated patient is a person who has been carefully trained to simulate a patient or a family member in a consistent fashion. Simulated patients role-play for teaching and testing of clinical skills for health sciences learners. During interactions with a learner, the simulated patient responds to questions by the student and, in some cases, undergoes specific physical examinations.

Each simulated patient encounter is designed to teach or assess skills appropriate to the student’s level of training. The simulated patient repeats his or her story in a consistent manner to numerous students. Simulated patients are trained to consistently and accurately portray specific emotions, behaviors and disease symptoms, relay personal history and everyday concerns of patients, family members or others while interacting with students in the health care field during simulated patient encounters. These encounters are designed to enable experiential learning and assessment of students’ skills.

We use simulated patients to simulate situations for the students such as:

  • Meeting a patient for the first time
  • Doing an interview about stopping smoking
  • Giving bad news
  • Explaining medications
  • Conducting a routine medical history interview
  • Performing physical examinations
What characteristics are you looking for in simulated patients?

People who are interested in students and in learning, who are excellent listeners and who can focus on the educational goals of the session make good simulated patients.

While it’s helpful if you have had some experience with healthcare professionals, it is not essential. It’s also important for a simulated patient to memorize and stay focused on the role play and material that has been provided. Finally, a flexible schedule is necessary in order to work as a simulated patient.

Below is a list of expectations for our simulated patients. Simulated patients should:

  • Be comfortable with their health and dealing with health professionals
  • Be an excellent listener
  • Be reliable and punctual
  • Be nonjudgmental about students and faculty gender, race, religion, national origin, physical characteristics, etc.
  • Conduct themselves professionally, showing respect for all students, faculty members and staff
  • Consistently portray the role or scenario, as trained by staff
  • Remember what the student who examined you did and then record it, if asked
  • Have strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Keep all information regarding the case, students and other patients confidential
  • Want to contribute to the training process of excellent health care professionals
  • Be willing to be videotaped for educational purposes
What are the hours?

This is an intermittent, very part-time job. One month you might work 16 hours a week, the next month no hours. The schedule depends on many variables, one of which is matching you to the cases requested by the faculty.

What are some of the job expectations as a stimulated patient?
  • Memorize a case script detailing specific emotions, behaviors, and disease signs/symptoms for presentation during simulated learning exercises
  • Present accurate case history information in a simulated manner, as elicited by students during simulated interactive patient history and/or medical examinations
  • Undergo physical examinations (internal or breast exams for invasive only) performed by the students
  • Perform multiple encounters in succession and stay focused and consistent throughout
  • Accurately remember encounters for the purpose of scoring student questions and behaviors
  • Provide educationally constructive verbal and/or written feedback within a structured format, as appropriate to the event
  • Participate in group training with other simulated patients
  • Be professional in interactions with faculty, students and other simulated patients
  • Maintain confidentiality of information related to cases, student behaviors and feedback evaluations
Are there different levels of simulated patients?

There are three levels of an adult simulated patient:

Levels of Invasiveness:

Non-invasive:
Activities: These individuals can portray cases requiring minimal skill (i.e. surgery consent) to complex cases (i.e. multiple personalities). An invidivual’s expertise level is matched with the case and department objectives.
Clothing: The individual is fully clothed in street clothes involving communication only.
Rate of Pay: $21.00/hour

Minimally Invasive:
Activities: look into eyes, ear, nose, throat, blood pressure, pulse, and listen with a stethoscope to the heart and lungs, test reflexes.
Clothing: The individual is wearing street clothes.
Rate of Pay: $35.00/hour

Moderately Invasive:
Activities: This includes previous levels and adds an abdomen examination.
Clothing: The individual is wearing bicycle shorts and a sports bra underneath a hospital gown.
Rate of Pay: $35.00/hour

Invasive:
Activities: breast exam, pelvic exam, rectal exam. Only simulated patients who have requested to become a level 4 patient and undergo proper training with the simulated patient educator will be considered for these types of cases
Clothing: The simulated patient typically wears a hospital gown.
Rate of pay: $50.00/hour

 

How much does it pay?

We pay $10.50 per hour for training time and case preparation. Actual session rates vary from $21.00 an hour for a history only case (non-invasive), $35.00 an hour for a history and physical case (minimally invasive and moderately invasive) and up to $50 an hour for male and female exams (invasive).

What type of physical examinations will the student perform?

The physical examinations are much like those performed in a doctor’s office. The physical examinations are very basic and designed to not cause harm to the simulated patient. All encounters are videotaped and in some interactions are observed by a faculty person as they happen. The student may:

  • Listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope
  • Press on your abdomen to identify any tenderness or swelling
  • Look into your eyes, ears, nose and throat
  • Take your blood pressure
  • Take your pulse
  • Check your reflexes
  • Assess your muscle strength

The students may perform exams such as a genital, rectal or breast exams (invasive) but will not take blood or other samples.

Will I need to take my clothes off?

For patient cases that require no physical examinations, simulated patients wear street clothes. If the students are expected to perform a physical examination, you may be required to wear a hospital gown. You will never be asked to participate in a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

I am interested in becoming a simulated patient. What do I do next?

This position is currently accepting applications. https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/6259797

Questions can be directed to Human Resources at humanresources@medicine.illinois.edu.