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Standardized Patient- Simulation Center

This is a specialized (temporary) position and is not benefit-eligible

Pay is: $20.00 per hour


This is an “as needed”, hourly position with advance scheduling and no minimum hours of work guaranteed.

The terms standardized patient and simulated patient (SP) are often used interchangeably and refer to a person trained to portray a patient (or patient’s family member) in realistic and repeatable ways. An SP is a person who has been coached to accurately and consistently recreate the personality, medical history physical findings, and emotional structure and response pattern of a patient at a particular point in time/treatment. (SPs do not disclose their own personal medical history, they will answer questions based on the “facts” of the “simulated patient case” that we will provide.)

The Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS) at UTHSC employs SPs in the training and evaluation of healthcare professionals including: medical, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

Under the supervision of the Assistant Director of Education for SPs, and the direction of SP Trainer(s), and/or UTHSC faculty, the SP provides the opportunity for learners to develop, practice, and enhance therapeutic communication, interviewing, physical examination, and non-invasive technical skills. The basic function of a SP is to simulate medical scenarios or cases with learners in experiential education and assessment contexts.

SPs are part of an educational team, focused on fulfilling the learning objectives of a simulation activity in service to our learners. SPs will be instructed and trained by the SP Trainer on a variety of educational projects depicting the prewritten characteristics of a patient or family member, portraying various case scenarios in a consistent manner for each learner, and providing evaluation and feedback to learners on their interactions. During teaching or assessment activities SPs should expect that the learner may interview, counsel and/or perform a basic (non-invasive) physical examination.

SPs are:

  • Both actors and non-actors.
  • Trained extensively to portray the roles of a patient or family member in a simulated medical situation in a Clinical care setting (clinician’s office), Acute care setting (hospital), Rehabilitation center, Community pharmacy, and in their Home environment.
  • Trained to portray the roles according to detailed case scenario scripts developed by UTHSC staff.
  • Trained to simulate all aspects of the case script; history of the current problem, affect, emotions, behavior and physical findings.
  • Able to consistently reproduce the history, physical findings, and emotions multiple times in a day.
  • Able to multi-task by portraying the patient and remembering the encounter accurately in order to fill out a checklist.
  • Able to give constructive feedback, written and orally.
    Important attributes include:
  • Reliability and punctuality with a flexible workday schedule (Typically M-F during daytime hours)
  • Commitment to the education of health care professionals
  • Lack of bias towards the healthcare system.
  • Ability to work with others in a respectful manner
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

    Minimum Qualifications:

  • Able to memorize a 4 – 6-page case script detailing specific emotions, behaviors, and disease signs/symptoms.
  • Able to portray a person other than yourself using your voice, facial expressions, and physical movement for the depiction of emotions, feelings, and symptoms.
  • Accurately and consistently complete checklists and provide feedback to learners and colleagues in a constructive manner.
  • Demonstrate ability and willingness to work cooperatively with learners, faculty and administrators.
  • Be of legal status to work in the U.S. and pass a background check.
    ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
  • Memorizes scenario patient information (e.g., history, symptoms, behavior) and consistently portrays the “patient” in the same manner with different learners.
  • Portrays a variety of patient scenarios to meet the needs of UTHSC.
  • Participates in healthcare related interviews, physical examinations, and non-invasive technical procedures that may include wearing a patient gown, while on camera and/or observed live through video stream.
  • Demonstrates excellent communication skills to provide learners with evaluation feedback regarding their performance.
  • Provides constructive written feedback on learner performance using basic computer skills on an electronic platform.
  • Accept ongoing feedback from supervisor/trainer/peers and incorporate into case simulation.
  • Monitor other SPs for quality assurance and communicate with trainers about simulation inconsistencies.
  • Maintains confidentiality of information related to educational materials such as cases, learner behaviors, and evaluation feedback.
  • Understands and adheres to UTHSC/CHIPS policies and procedures.


  • Must possess strong communication skills, both written and spoken.
  • Must have strong reading and writing skills to absorb and use the detailed case training and exam procedural information.
  • Must have excellent recall of learner performance. Attention to detail is essential.
  • Applicants with acting and/or teaching experience are encouraged to apply, though this is not an obligatory skill set.
  • Experience with software programs including MS office, and regular access to the internet is required.
  • This is an “as needed”, hourly position with advance scheduling and no minimum hours of work guaranteed.


  • Training and/or experience in theatre, film, education, communication, or behavioral sciences is beneficial, but not required.


  • Very limited physical effort required with minimal exposure to physical risk.