The term Standardized Patient (SP) is often synonymous with Simulated Patient. The Healthcare Simulation Dictionary defines an SP as "a person who has been carefully coached to simulate an actual patient so accurately that the simulation cannot be detected by a skilled clinician. In performing the simulation, the SP presents the gestalt of the patient being simulated; not just the history, but the body language, the physical findings, and the emotional and personality characteristics as well" (Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 2016). These individuals undergo extensive training in order to portray various diagnoses or assist with the realism of simulations involving high fidelity manikins. SPs can be used to teach and assess learners and their skills in simulated clinical environments. Frequently, SPs are asked to give feedback and assist instructors in evaluating learner performance.
The Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center currently uses Standardized Patients in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing to portray various behavioral and mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar mania, dementia, depression, substance use disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. SPs are also utilized in Maternal-Newborn Nursing to enhance learners' communication and interviewing skills with a pregnant or laboring woman and/or the woman's partner or friend. SPs are also involved in Nursing Leadership to provide learners the opportunity to lead discussions with an interprofessional healthcare team. The Eastern Shore Faculty Academy and Mentorship Initiative (ES-FAMI) also uses SPs portraying undergraduate nursing students to assist in the development, coaching, and mentorship of expert nurses wanting to become clinical faculty.
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