February 15, 2022By Lance Baily

LAST DAY FOR EARLY-BIRD: New Standardized Patient Online CE Courses Launch Tomorrow!

The HealthySimulation.com LEARN Platform is home to a number of exciting clinical simulation webinars and courses to enhance learners’ understanding of the many different elements of the medical simulation industry. As part of the mission to educate and inform these learners on best practices, a new standardized patient online 3 CE course has been launched. Focused on “Standardized Patient Program Management,” this course provides essential knowledge to those working in healthcare simulation programs across the globe. This article provides additional details on this course, and the three LEARN Platform courses that precede the topic.

SPN M4: Standardized Patient Program Management: Presented by Debra Nestel AM Ph.D., FAcadMed FSSH, Cathy Smith Ph.D. MA BA(Hons), CHSE, and Jennifer Harlim Ph.D. MBA BA(Hons), this intermediate, online 3 hour CE course further outlines approaches to managing a Standardized Patient program. Course 4 (M4) introduces core facets of simulated participant (SP) program management – whether a program is small or large, beginning or mature.

Some learners will be managing a program on their own while others will have a team in place. Ultimately, the course focuses on five areas: key aspects of SP program management, including the types of activities and roles and responsibilities of the person responsible for program management; SP recruitment; SP databases; challenges in managing SP programs; and program quality management.


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Learners are introduced to a wide range of resources with core and extension work by experts in the field. Throughout the course, they are encouraged to make meaning of the content for their own setting. Added learning objectives include being able to:

  • Consider key aspects of SP program management.
  • Describe strategies for SP recruitment.
  • Describe fields in an SP program database.
  • Identify SP program challenges.
  • Outline SP program quality management strategies.

Previous LEARN Platform SP Courses

SPN M3: Training Methods for Standardized Patient Role Portrayal: Presented by Debra Nestel AM Ph.D., FAcadMed FSSH, Cathy Smith Ph.D. MA BA(Hons), CHSE, and Jennifer Harlim Ph.D. MBA BA(Hons), this intermediate, online 3 hour CE course outlines approaches for training simulated patients, aka standardized patients. Instructors share approaches that they have used for many years and others that are documented in the literature. The approaches are sufficiently flexible to suit the different contexts in which SPs work. They are engaging and the 4-stage approach is informed by performance theory. The instructors also share techniques that help SPs to remember aspects of their roles for portrayal. Learners are introduced to a wide range of resources with core and extension work by experts in the field. Throughout the course, they are encouraged to make meaning of the content for their setting. Learning objectives include being able to:

  • Outline the importance of training SPs for role portrayal.
  • Describe a systematic approach to SP training for role portrayal.
  • Identify benefits and challenges of the 4-stage model.
  • Consider alternative approaches to training SPs for role portrayal.

SPN M2: Creating Roles for Standardized Patients: Course 2 (M2) introduces approaches to creating roles for Standardized Patients. This task is fundamental to SP work – usually a text document (sometimes with audiovisual supplements), the written SP role provides guidance to the SP about their character, the purpose of the scenario, their health issue (or other relevant information). There is no one right way to do this. However, some approaches seem better suited to some contexts than others. Templates are valuable for documenting roles. They prompt the authors for specific and usually critical information. Instructors share approaches and templates, and learners are introduced to a wide range of resources with core and extension work. Throughout the course, they are encouraged to make meaning of the content for their own setting.


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SPN M1: Foundations of Standardized Patient Methodology: This Foundation Program (M1) introduces the concept of SP methodology. This course covers key terms and scope of practice and considers the who, what, why, and how of the method, and acknowledges known origins. The scope of practice of SPs and their unique features are also discussed. The instructors outline standards associated with SP methodology and share some of their favorite SP methodology resources. You’re introduced to a wide range of resources with core and extension work by experts in the field. Throughout the course, learners are encouraged to make meaning of the content for their own setting.

Meet the Instructors

Debra Nestel AM Ph.D. FAcadMed FSSH: Debra Nestel is Professor of Simulation Education in Healthcare, Monash University, and Professor of Surgical Education, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, Australia. Debra is founding Editor-in-Chief (EIC), International Journal of Healthcare Simulation (IJoHS), has been (EIC) of BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning (STEL), the journal of the Association for Simulation Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH), and was founding EIC at Advances in Simulation, the journal of the Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine (SESAM).



Cathy Smith Ph.D., MA, BA(Hons), CHSE: Cathy Smith (Ph.D., MA, BA(Hons), CHSE)) is an Interprofessional and Simulation Educator in the Division of Training and Simulation at Baycrest, a health system for the care of older adults, located in Toronto, Canada. In addition, she consults with various educational and assessment organizations nationally and internationally. She works with learners at all stages and has developed a curriculum for diverse formats, ranging from face-to-face to web-based platforms.

Jennifer Harlim Ph.D. MBA BA(Hons): Jennifer Harlim (Ph.D. MBA BA(Hons)) completed her Ph.D. studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia. Her postgraduate research was in the area of engineering education and professional development focusing on problem-solving. Prior to and during her Ph.D. studies, Jennifer was actively involved in a number of educational-based projects. After completing her research studies in 2013, she worked with a team of researchers and educators at the School of Health Sciences, RMIT University. Her knowledge of educational theories and prior experience working in educational projects contributed to the last stage of the project where the 3-D simulation game, Second Life was utilized for the training of healthcare students.

Note: The Simulated Patient Network (SPN) offers a range of courses for individuals working with simulated patients (SPs). The courses 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. All courses are designed to take three hours except for the foundational program which takes five hours.

M1: Foundations of Standardized Patients Methodology
M2: Creating Roles for Standardized Patients
M3: Training Methods for SPs (Role Portrayal)
M4: Standardized Patients Program Management
M5: Training Methods for Standardized Patients (debriefing)
M6: Teaching with Standardized Patients and A/V Recording
M7: Teaching with Standardized Patients for Assessments
M8: Developing Hybrid Simulations with Standardized Patients
M9: Increasing Standardized Patient Realism with Moulage
M10: Debriefing Standardized Patients
M11: Teaching Interprofessionally with Standardized Patients
M12: Teaching with Pediatric Standardized Patients

Each enrollment is limited to the person who registered it, and any downloadable certificates will only be available in the name of the person who purchased access. However, the buyer is welcome to invite others within their immediate team to join them in watching the course presentation together at the same time.

Learn More About Upcoming Clinical Simulation Webinars


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