May 2, 2019By Lance Baily

Simulated Patient Network Provides Free Learning Materials

The Simulated Patient Network (SPN) website aims to provide individuals interested in simulated patient (SP) aka, Standardized Patients, practice and support from a network to share with and from each other. Formerly known as the Victorian Simulated Patient Network (VSPN) website, this resource is now open and free to all medical simulation champions from around the world!

About SPN Simulated Patients / Standardized Patients Resources

The SPN aims to connect SPs, educators, students, clinicians and others through this website. As ofJuly 2018, the group hosts over 800 members who come from every continent. The free membership to SPN website provides access to curated learning materials that have been developed by experts in SP methodology. SPs are individuals trained to portray real patients. SPs contribute to health professional education in many ways. There is a spectrum of SP practices that are expanding.

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Directed by Debra Nestel, the SPN offers online modules on various aspects of working with SPs involved in health and social care professional education. The modules are likely to be of interest to simulation educators, technicians, SPs and to some extent learners involved in undergraduate and postgraduate training in all health professional disciplines.

SPN Director of Operations Jennifer Harlim shared with us that “Yes, anyone in the world can join SPN for free. Access to the learning materials requires registration, but it is all free. The learning materials great have been put together by experts in SP methodology, including Debra Nestel and Cathy Smith. Our goal is to provide resources specific to SP methodology and general healthcare simulation. We provide a platform not just for the educators to share about their programs but also for the SPs, to gather and support them from their own perspective”.

Recent Blog Post Highlights

  • PRONTO International – Optimising care during birth through simulation education: PRONTO International was founded by Professor Dylis Walker, Susanna Cohen and Jen Fahey in response to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 (to reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health) as well as, a call from the Mexican government to develop a program to improve the quality of care for women and neonates during obstetric emergencies. The program’s main goal is to optimise care during birth by developing and implementing innovative training strategies that act as a catalyst for health care providers to make individual, team, and systems changes.
  • Getting started as a simulated participant (SP): One of the most commonly asked questions SPN receives is how to get started as SP. The team decided to write this article as part of the Healthcare Simulation Week to share the resources that they often send along to those that inquired about this topic.

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SPN Learning Modules Available

The modules cover various aspects of simulated patient (SP) methodology. The modules contain a variety of resources including videos, audios, SP scenarios and relevant reading material. Modules are designed to take up to two hours to complete but may take longer. There is no formal assessment. Certificates of completion for each module can be downloaded after you have submitted the online evaluation. You must register to access the modules, but registration is currently free, with the 13 modules available listed below:

  1.  Introduction to SP methodology
  2.  SP program management
  3. Creating roles for SPs
  4. Training methods for SPs – role portrayal
  5. Training methods for SPs – feedback
  6. The art and science of teaching and learning with SPs using audiovisual review
  7. SPs in assessments
  8. Developing hybrid simulations
  9. SPs and moulage
  10. Debriefing SPs after simulation events
  11. SPs in action
  12. Interprofessional SP-based education
  13. Children as SPs

Visit the SPN website to Register and Get Your Free SP Modules Today!


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