May – June 2015

June 2015

Conference report – Presentation summary of McMillan et. al. (2015) at the Sixth International Clinical Skills Conference

The presentation by McMillan et. al. (2015) entitled Incorporating Simulated Patient Feedback in Debriefing and Appraisal of Clinical Skills explored the contribution that simulated patients offer to the debriefing process.

Two methods of debriefing involving SPs were used in their study; i) live streamed interviews of SPs and, ii) face to face between learners and SPs. Evaluation of both means were undertaken via surveys and focus groups interviews. Discussions of key advantages and challenges in each method were explored during the presentation. The authors also made recommendations for the management of SPs feedback in simulation.

For more details about this project, please contact:
Joanne McMillan

The abstract of this presentation is available in the conference abstract book at the ICSC site.

SP Request – Female simulated patients between the ages of 30 to 60 years old

We are looking for female simulated patients between the ages of 30 to 60 years old. You must be based in Melbourne. The request is for work with a highly reputable organisation involved in assessments.

Please contact with your e-mail, phone number and age.

Conference report – Summary of abstract by Williamson et al. (2015) at the Sixth International Clinical Skills Conference

pratosprogrammeWilliamson et al. (2015) presented their findings on the thematic analysis of reflective essays carried out by 4th year medical students after participating in a General Practice simulation, involving simulated patients. Their paper is entitled: Student reflections on learning in a novel simulation of General Practice.

During the simulation, two sets of outcomes were considered: i) safety – outcomes that result in no increased risk of harm to either the patient or the doctor and; ii)effective – outcomes (depending on the best possible for the patient in that particular scenario) that are designed to be evidence based, patient centered, context sensitive, and resource efficient. Feedback from the simulated patients as well as students’ clinical notes were evaluated to determine the achievement of these outcomes. Each simulation mimics professional settings by placing no time restrictions, unobserved and by allowing access to resources and advice from a senior colleague.

The students believed such approach allowed them to achieve better learning in the area of safe practice and clinical reasoning. They also reported the process gave them insights into the development of professional identity.

For more details about this abstract, please access the conference abstract book at the ICSC site.



Upcoming workshops – Complexities in working with Paediatric Simulated Patients and Simulation Moulage

Two workshops that covers the SP methodology are scheduled in both June and July.

The first workshop, “Complexities in working with Paediatric Simulated Patients” is conducted by the Victorian Simulation Alliance (VSA) and will be held at Holmesglen Simulation Centre. This workshop will be conducted on Tueday, 30th June 2015, 5pm – 7.30pm. For more details on this workshop including registration please visit the VSA website here.

Another interesting workshop will be on the use of moulage. This event is conducted by The Department of Health & Human Services on Thursday, 9th July 2015. This is a half-day workshop with sessions either in the the morning (9:00 – 12:30pm) or afternoon (1:30 – 5:00pm) at Epworth HealthCare. The workshop is aimed at a basic-intermediate level and will provide an opportunity for moulage enthusiasts to: develop an understanding of the concepts of fidelity/realism in the context of simulation; share tips/ tricks and ideas for moulaging in simulation; products you can use if you do not have a moulage kit, and; applying mock injuries on people and manikins (scars, burns, road rash, bruising, lacerations and trauma). Registrations for the workshop closes at 5pm (AEST), Thursday 2 July 2015. Please register here.

Conference report – Presentation summary of Sutton et al. (2015) at the Sixth International Clinical Skills Conference

Bev Sutton and Margaret Bearman at the Sixth International Clinical Skills Conference, Prato, Tuscany

Sutton et al. (2015) presented their abstract entitled Development and Accreditation of a National Standardised Training Program for SPs & Creation of a Centralised Database of SPs for Hire at the Sixth International Clinical Skills Conference, Prato, Tuscany. (Image on the left of Bev Sutton and Margaret Bearman at the conference.)

The abstract discusses the development of the Simulated Patient Program at Health Education Australia Limited (HEAL). The rationale for the development of the program was driven by the lack of a structured program aimed at SPs, in particular in developing their understanding of the educational philosophy of the SP methodology. The program also provided the opportunity for SPs to be included in a database that would lead to further work.

Four pilot sessions were initially trialled with both new and experienced SPs. Each of these sessions were conducted by experienced SP educators over one and half day. A facilitator guide was also developed by HEAL to allow for replication of the course across Australia. The course achieved accreditation in January 2014 by Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Both quantitative and qualitative feedback were sought from the participants and overall positive responses were obtained. The database has also been positively evaluated by health professional educators who have used the system to gain access to SPs. Such structured program and its accreditation has certainly added value to the SPs Methodology practice.

For more information about HEAL’s Simulated Patient Program see our special feature of this program on our SP Methodology Experiences page.

Conference report – Sixth International Clinical Skills Conference, Prato, Tuscany

The Sixth International Clinical Skills Conference was held 17th-20th May 2015. This conference was held at Prato, Tuscany, hosted by both the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Dundee and Monash University. The focus of the conference was to meet the educational as well as the research needs of interprofessional researchers and practitioners in the area of clinical practice.

The themes covered during the conference included:

– Creativity to advance clinical skills education and practice
– Diversity in teaching and learning skills – what’s working?
– Assessing clinical skills in the workplace
– Evidence-based teaching and assessment of clinical skills using simulation
– Evidence-based interprofessional collaboration in clinical skills education and practice
– Priorities in clinical skills education – including feedback and evaluation of clinical skills
– Research in clinical skills education using simulation
– Professionalism as part of clinical competence
– Best evidence for use of simulation

VSPN is proud to announce that we will be covering a series of special reports on the conference during June. These will include summaries of the presentations related to SP methodology made during the conference.

For additional information regarding this past conference visit the site here.

May 2015

St John of God Health Care – Mental Health Simulation

The Mental Health Simulation Educational Kit by the St John of God Health Care is a useful resource for those who work within the mental health sector. The project features actors playing patients with mental health problems, working alongside with experienced mental health practitioners. These simulations are meant to provide highly realistic clinical situations. The kit consists of DVD and a facilitator’s guide.

Details of the case studies are accessible here:

For more details on the kit and how to order it from St John of God, see here:

Career opportunity – Program Coordinator for Simulated Patient Program at HEAL

Health Education Australia Limited (HEAL) is looking for a Program Coordinator for their Simulated Patient Program. This program involves the delivery of a training program to prepare participants to work as SPs and the hiring of SPs to the health sector for educational purposes.

This position is a full time temporary appointment – 12 months with potential for a permanent appointment, located in Melbourne CBD.

Application closes on Friday, 5th June 2015.

The full position description and details on how to apply is available here: Program Coordinator Melbourne – May 2015 Final

To find out more about HEAL:

Upcoming workshop – VSA: Simulation Research Workshop on 27th May 2015

Victorian Simulation Alliance (VSA) will be hosting a Simulation Research Workshop on the 27th May 2015. This workshop will be held at the Australian Centre for Health Innovation (CHI), Alfred Hospital. For more details and registration information about this workshop and other upcoming workshops by VSA see here.

Upcoming conference – Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) 14th Annual Conference

aspe_ann15_cover_sizedThe ASPE 14th Annual Conference will be held in Denver, Colorado on 14-17 June 2015. The conference is filled with informative cutting edge sessions for all levels of learners in diverse formats such as workshops, presentations, discussions, training techniques, posters, oral research reports and snapshot sessions. A key note by Pamela Andreatta, “The Essential Role of Simulated (Standardized) Patients in Simulation-Based Clinical Education” starts off the conference program and will definitely be something to look forward to. Sessions themes comprise of the following: Administration, Advancing Your SPs, Curriculum/Case Development, GTA/MUTA, Hybrid, Interprofessional Education, SP Educator Development, SP Methodology: Applications Beyond Medicine, and Technology.

Read more about the conference overview by Dr Cathy Smith (Conference Chair) here: 2015ConferenceOverview

More details about the conference can be found at:

For more information about simulated patients-related conferences, please click here.

RACS ASC 2015 – Confederates in competency-based learning for general surgical trainees in SET: CIS SET

IMG_3128A poster by Waxman and Nestel (2015) was presented at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons – Annual Scientific Congress 2015 held in Perth, Western Australia between 4 and 8 May. The project discussed the utilisation of confederates as simulated patients. The research question explored: Are confederates effective in teaching competency-based skills for general surgery trainees in standardised exercise test (SET)?

Four scenarios over 4 separate sessions, involving 4 confederates were used in the project. Focus groups were then carried out after each session to evaluate the exercise. The key finding indicates that confederates may have a role in the teaching of competency based skills for general surgery trainees in SET.

For more details on the project, see the poster here: CIS SET E Poster Final

Open Day – The Northern Centre for Health Education and Research (NCHER)

NCHERThe newly opened Simulation Centre of NCHER at The Northern Hospital is having an Open Day on Friday 8 May, from 10 am to 4 pm. This is in conjunction with Simulation Week.

The new centre is a partnership between Northern Health, the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University and will provide multidisciplinary education and research opportunities for staff, students and local health care organisations throughout Melbourne’s north. It is equipped with high fidelity labs and class rooms designed to facilitate many forms of clinical simulation including part task training, immersive simulation and simulated patients.

Open Day Details:
When: Friday, 8 May 2015
Time: 10 am – 4pm
Northern Centre for Health Education and Research
185 Cooper Street

For more details about the NCHER or the day direct inquiries to  or contact the Simulation Manager:
Todd Mason
Phone (03) 8468 0617