The Simulated Patient (SP) program developed by Health Education Australia Limited (HEAL) has two objectives:
1) to consistently train SPs; and
2) to hire out those trained SPs for health professions educational encounters.
With the assistance of experienced SP educators, HEAL developed a course to provide formal and consistent training to SPs. The course contextualises the work SPs are doing within the healthcare education setting. It provides SPs with methods of developing the characters they will portray and opportunities to practice role portrayal throughout the course.
SPs receive feedback on their performances, as well as learning to provide valuable, useful feedback to health professionals/students in the course of their work.
The hiring side of the program involves HEAL working closely with health education organisations to provide trained SPs that are appropriate for the roles required. HEAL takes care of all the administration required to hire SPs including sourcing, logistics and payment to the SPs.
HEAL recognises the importance of SPs in healthcare education and to this end is working towards developing a career path for SPs, acknowledging the variety of skills they bring to different roles and adequately rewarding them for the work they do.
Find out more about HEAL Simulated Patient Program here.