Where do you even begin the search to find a standardized patient (SP)? That question can be stress-inducing if you’re already trying to balance the many responsibilities associated with running a prosperous simulation center. Leave those worries behind because by the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of SP recruitment and how to grow your SP pool in the future.
Recruiting Standardized Patients (SPs) may seem like a daunting task when you’re starting, but it is a lot easier than you think. You may not realize it, but you’re surrounded by a pool of people who would be perfect candidates and are eager for this position–they just don’t know it yet.
So, who could these people be, and where do they come from? Here are a few groups that fit this position perfectly:
Local Home School Groups
These groups typically have availability during your simulation time, which helps ensure that both–your schedule and theirs’–align seamlessly. Home school groups often need volunteer hours, and this opportunity is a fun way to earn those hours.
High School Theater Groups
These amateur actors are eager to grow in their craft, and this SP experience could potentially double as a way to prepare for college or a future job. They often love the improv side of this position and enjoy interacting with college students.
Retirees come from many backgrounds, but when recruiting for SPs, focus on retired actors and healthcare providers. These retirees are always looking for opportunities to get involved in their community or simply just something to do during their day. They love giving back to their community and enjoy being around young people.
An easy way to search for retirees is to go on LinkedIn and search “retired and looking for opportunities.” This search often provides you with 3-4 people to connect with and start building a relationship with.
How Do I Grow From Here?
Once you have a core group of 3-4 SPs to work within your simulations, Word of Mouth will instinctively begin to grow your SP pool. As these SPs funnel through the audition process and start participating in simulations, they will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, and so on.
These groups will be eager to help in any way they can, so be sure to use them to their highest potential so that they feel like a valued member of your simulation team.
How Do I Train SPs?
If you need help training your Standardized Patient recruits, Avkin offers an SP certificate course, where CHSE-certified simulation experts train your pool of SPs using ASPE’s Standards of Best Practice. This ensures that all of your SPs are trained in a standardized method, reducing confusion and increasing professionalism in simulation.