Background Simulated patients (SPs) have traditionally been used in the UK for qualitative feedback in history taking and communication skills. An innovative approach to inter-professional learning has been developed which incorporates a cohort of SPs affiliated to the Emergency Department who have been trained to portray acute illness and trauma. These SPs have not been given formal training in feedback but are often asked by facilitators to participate in the debrief of learners. Although this can work well, without training and qualitative control it has the potential to be disruptive to the learning episode and harmful to the learner. ‘SP feedback must be monitored, especially because it is well known that feedback can have a profound effect on student performance’. 1 This can be compounded by inadequate training for the faculty in the facilitation of simulated scenarios.
Methodology We have undertaken a survey of our SPs to assess their current knowledge, confidence, training and attitude around feedback.
Training sessions are planned which will include generic training relating to feedback and specific training relating to emergency and critical illness scenarios. Within the scenarios SPs will be giving feedback from the perspective of relatives and friends as well as patients.
Parallel and integrated training of facilitators will be necessary to align boundaries and provide a clear understanding to both parties of their roles.
Outcomes The survey will be repeated post training and a period of utilisation of the SPs newly acquired skills. We anticipate an increase in SP confidence and knowledge and a better faculty understanding of the SP role.
Potential impact The development of a powerful learning tool with the patient perspective at it’s heart.
A standardised approach by the SP and the facilitator, with a common understanding of each other’s boundaries, should improve the quality of the learning episode.
Schlegel C, Woermann U, Rethans JJ and Van Der Vleuten C (2012) Validity, evidence and reliability of a simulated patient feedback instrument. BMC Med Educ 2012;12:6. Published online Jan 27, 2012. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-12-6
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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