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Frequently Asked Questions

A Simulated Patient (SP) is a layperson who is trained to simulate the historical, physical and emotional features of a real patient's clinical problem, in a reproducible and valid manner.

They are very common examinations, similar to what you might have in a doctor's office. For example:

  • Listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope;
  • Press on your abdomen looking for tenderness or swelling;
  • Look into your eyes, ears and throat;
  • Take your blood pressure;
  • Assess your muscle strength;
  • Check your reflexes;
  • Check your pulses, etc.

As well as undergoing physical examinations and portraying certain symptoms, you may also need to display some of the emotional characteristics of real patients, such as anxiety, anger, confusion, etc. You may be offered training in performance skills if you wish to undertake these higher level roles.

We have a number of exams and other teaching activities throughout the year. The amount of work offered to individuals depends on the demographics of the patients we need portrayed, the type of event, and an SP's skill level and availability.

Yes, as a casual employee of the University of Tasmania, you will be paid at the HEO Level 3/hour $32.49. Weekend Penalty Rates are, HEO Level 3/hour $51.99.

We create a complete history for you to learn what is contained in your "script". It includes the patient's presenting complaint, past medical history, and details about job, family and activities. We also describe the appropriate emotional state to portray and any physical findings you would have to simulate (e.g. pain). We would show you how to move like that patient and how to react to the physical examination. For example, you may be portraying someone with back pain. We would show you where it hurts and how you can and can't move because of the pain.

No. We will teach you what you need to know. Most SP's find they learn quite a lot about health and medicine from their involvement in the program and enjoy it very much.

Yes, you will be presented with a certificate at the end of the training program giving a brief outline of the competencies covered.