Standardized/Simulated Patient (SP) Program

Thank you for your interest in the SP program at the Clinical Simulation Laboratory (CSL) at the University of Vermont.

An Informational Meeting will be held in June via Zoom for those that have submitted their questionnaire (at the bottom of this page) and returned to Nicole Heneveld via the link.

Who are we: The SP program began in the Larner College of Medicine in the mid-90s and has grown to include the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the University of Vermont Medical Center and Network. Currently we have about 70 people in our program ranging in age from babies with their caregivers, to people in their 80s. The program is overseen by the Director of Simulation and Education for the CSL and the SP Educators. SP Educators develop educational programs for SPs and oversee the recruitment, training, assigning work and providing ongoing professional development. We consult the Standards of Best Practice published by the Association of SP Educators.

What does an SP do: An SP is a person who has been trained to portray a real patient's case in a learning or testing scenario that is linked to goals and objectives that the learners are expected to achieve. The SP provides learners with opportunities to practice their professionalism, patient/family centered communication skills, medical history, and physical exam skills in a safe and supportive learning environment before seeing patients in an office or hospital setting. SPs play a key role in assessment activities for learners.

What we look for in prospective SPs: SPs come from all walks of life in the community. This work can be interesting and rewarding but not for everyone.

This type of work suits people who:

Have a flexible schedule: As a part-time temporary employee, there is no set schedule or guarantee of hours, as the needs of the program vary from month to month. While most work hours would be during the day, there are occasions when we need people to work evenings and weekends.

Ease with people: Because we work with so many different learners in so many different stages of training, it is important to be comfortable with your health and working with health professional students and clinicians.

Committed to UVM’s focus on preparing learners to live in a diverse and changing world: 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: To achieve excellence, it is very important to be able to work well with others regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity/skin color, religious/spiritual affiliation, age, or physical characteristics.

Solid work ethic and commitment to professionalism: Shown by: Being professional in relationships with learners, faculty and CSL staff. Being punctual and prepared o Following directions in role portrayal and assessment. Hearing and using feedback provided by the SPEs to improve performance, and  Following all CSL and UVM policies and procedures.

Comfortable with technology: Requires a working email address, and capability to learn the CSL and UVM technology programs with associated passwords and online video conferencing (ZOOM).

Comfortable "being on stage": While you are not physically on a stage, you are performing a part. You are likely to need to perform that same part over and over again, within a 4-8 hour period, as each learner gets a chance to interact with your case.

Good memory: You will need to memorize all the details about the case you are portraying and be consistent across learners.

Good listening and observation skills: You may be giving the learners verbal or written feedback about their performance, and you will need to be "in role" and observing at the same time.

Enjoy working with a group of people who are truly committed to making a difference in the education of our future health care providers, one learner at a time.

Payment: SPs are part time employees of UVM. SPs are paid for training and working with learners at a rate of $20.00 per hour for most sessions.

SP Educators

Bob Bolyard

Nicole Heneveld

Shirley McAdam CHSE

If you are interested, please fill out the questionnaire below and return it to Nicole Heneveld

2022 SP Recruitment Questionaire