Simulated patients program

The learning centre has an extensive simulated patients program. Simulated patients (standardized patients; SP) can be used to practice communication and practical skills in medical education.

Situational practice prepares for future patient contact and complicated conversational settings, e.g. breaking bad news. An enhanced learning effect is reached by the SP giving extensive feedback from the patient’s perspective. These conversations can also be video-taped. Thus the students can not only experience in a secure environment how their behavior may affect a patient but are also encouraged to reflect on their own emotions. Thus alternative conversational techniques can be constructively discussed.

Furthermore an SP can be combined with medical simulators. For example an SP can wear a breast cancer simulator while being examined by a student, thus providing an insight into intimate examination techniques. The consequential taking of blood samples can be simulated by the SP wearing a puncture pad. Especially the combination of SP and simulator leads to a very realistic learning situation.

The use of SPs in lecturers’ training, communication workshops and other contexts has proven to be very effective. In contrast to real patients, SPs are always available for teaching events and show reproducible behavior therefore allowing the attainment of the best teaching objectives.