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Simulated Participant Information

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What is a Simulated Participant?

Simulated Participants (SPs) are people who are trained to portray patients or clients with specific problems. SPs help our learners practice appropriate interactions with medical patients or social work clients in realistic settings. Additionally, they provide an opportunity for learners to practice interview and procedural skills in a safe, controlled environment.

SPs are provided with case information necessary for a realistic portrayal of a patient or client. SPs complete student evaluations regarding the performance of specific skills and provide valuable feedback.

Information for Current Simulated Participants

For a copy of the current Simulated Participant handbook, click here.  

Frequently Asked Questions about SPs

Simulated Participants are trained to accurately and consistently portray specific types of patients and clients. Simulated encounters include a specific history, physical findings, body language, and emotional and personality characteristics.

Yes! You are a temporary employee of the OU School of Community Medicine. Your compensation varies depending on the complexity of your assignment.

We need people of all ages, races, ethnicities, identities, and backgrounds to adequately represent our diverse community. Acting experience is not necessary, but you should be comfortable memorizing case scenarios and portraying characters with many different groups of learners. Simulation Center staff and case authors will provide you with the necessary training to carry out this important work. You will be compensated for time spent in training. 

  • Are proficient with the English language (oral and written)
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Have consistent cell phone and email service (you will be provided with an OUHSC email address upon hire)
  • Be available for simulation assignment during at least one of the following blocks on a regular basis:
    • Mornings (7:30 am - 12 pm)
    • Afternoon (12 pm - 5:30 pm
    • Evenings/weekends (5 pm - 9 pm/Saturday mornings)

As an SP, you can work as much or as little as you wish, depending on your availability and the curricular needs of the programs the Simulation Center serves. Opportunities are announced via email; participation is optional. Case portrayals typically vary in length from 1 hour to half a day. The majority of the work occurs between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. There are also opportunities to work some occasional evenings and Saturday mornings.

No. Some case portrayals require the use of a cloth hospital gown--we require all simulated participants wear appropriate undergarments at all times. For example, when teaching medical students to listen to the heart or lungs, we require SPs to wear a hospital gown to facilitate teaching best practices for these examinations. Other case portrayals call for street clothes. The case information contains information necessary to determine the appropriate dress for each simulated encounter.

No. Simulated participants are used only for routine physical examinations. Manikins, simulators, and task trainers are used for teaching and practicing invasive procedures. 

Yes. The Simulation Center staff are committed to ensuring simulation experiences are safe, comfortable, and confidential. 

We recruit on a bi-annual basis, and potential SPs may apply when our Simulated Participant listing is open on the website.