Frequently Asked Questions about Standardized Participant Program 

Standardized Participants also called Patients (SPs) are trained to reliably and consistently portray healthcare problems and then evaluate students who conduct the examination. The SP accurately and consistently recreates the history, personality, physical findings, and emotional responses of an actual patient and/or a patient’s significant other. They may critique student interviewing, physical examination, and interpersonal skills and provide feedback to the students.

Yes. You are not an employee of the Health Science Center; you are an independent contractor. You do not get benefits, and no taxes are withheld from your paycheck. The compensation varies depending on the complexity of the project. Payment is made once a month.

Men, women, and children of all ages and ethnic groups are needed to represent the various cases and patient problems. Acting experience is not necessary, but an excellent short-term memory is required because it is essential to remember the specifics of your role.

  •    Are proficient with the English language, both oral and written
  •    Are available at least one full block 8 am-12 pm OR 1pm-5pm
  •    Have reliable transportation
  •    Have email you can access daily
  •    Have a telephone number where we can reach you
  •    Attend an orientation session at UNTHSC
  •    Complete Standardized Participant paid training

Standardized Participant encounters allow students to work with the various routine, complex, and sensitive clinical situations in a safe environment where mistakes cannot harm an actual patient. Faculty, peers, and the SP can offer immediate feedback about student performance. Periodic evaluations of interactions with SPs also allow students and faculty to develop individualized learning plans based on student performance.

Standardized Participant can work occasionally or as much as they wish, depending on their availability and curriculum needs. Opportunities are announced via email, and participation is optional. Case portrayals typically vary in length from two hours to half a day. They are also typically between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Being a Standardized Participant provides a unique opportunity to be involved in tomorrow’s healthcare providers’ medical and professional education. Theoretically, students who participate in health care simulations develop superior communication skills and make fewer mistakes when treating actual patients.

Many cases do not require changing clothes. Some patient portrayals need the SP to wear a hospital gown. Undergarments or sports bra may remain under the gown. An example of when a gown may be necessary is when the case requires the student to listen to the patient’s heart or lungs or examine the patient’s abdomen. Some skills, such as pelvic exams, require the removal of undergarments. In those situations, the exam will occur in a private room and draping of the SP to maintain privacy and respect. Persons hired to be SPs can choose which cases they want to portray after learning all the requirements of the case.

Standardized Participant are used only for routine physical examinations. Annual well-woman exam cases include breast exams and pelvic exams. There may be some minor discomfort during these exams, similar to that experienced when the female SP’s doctor performs these exams. Invasive procedures are accomplished in the Simulation Center with part-task trainers and manikins.

Yes. The Simulation Center faculty and staff members are committed to making the experience a rewarding one for all involved.

You may access the application form by filling out the inquiry form online, or call the Simulation Center at 817-735-2315 and request an application form be sent to you.

Contact Information:

Stephanie Etter
Simulation Administrative Specialist