What are Standardized Patients?
Standardized Patients (SPs) are people who portray patients or family members so learners may practice their examination and communication skills. In addition, UMKC SPs also evaluate simulation participants from the patient perspective.
Standardized patients must be over the age of 18, have strong communication skills, good memories and a demonstrated ability to be reliable and professional. They must be comfortable wearing hospital gowns (with underwear beneath), so learners may practice general physical exam skills (for example; listening to the SP’s heart or examining their abdomen) in a confidential setting.
UMKC hires many talented SPs from varied backgrounds, including acting, directing, teaching, nursing, public safety, sales, management, pastoral and social work. At UMKC, standardized patients are paid $20 per hour for events and/or training.
Standardized patients who are hired for the SP pool would be eligible for roles in which they are a good fit. Much like actors, SPs are cast according to scenario objectives. Work hours are irregular and contingent on multiple factors, including faculty requests for specific case demographics, numbers of students and event scheduling requirements. All new SPs must attend six hours of mandatory orientation to be considered for specific roles.
Standardized Patients at UMKC School of Medicine
Standardized patients are an evidence-based evaluation resource used by international medical schools for decades. UMKC’s program has evolved and grown into a vital teaching and evaluation adjunct for faculty wishing to reinforce communication and clinical skills.
As students transition through UMKC School of Medicine, the curriculum gradually introduces clinical elements of medicine through successive scenarios while reinforcing communication-based lessons in SP encounters.
UMKC campus and Hospital Hill partnerships
UMKC’s standardized patients also assist with assessments with many other UMKC programs, including UMKC’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner) Program, UMKC’s EMS Education Department, UMKC’s Master of Science in Anesthesia Program, UMKC’s Physician Assistant Program and for UMKC’s School of Dentistry.
At Children’s Mercy Hospital, UMKC’s SPs participate in multiple simulations with CMH physicians, nurses and staff, and often portray parents and family members of pediatric patients.
Truman Medical Center’s security department utilizes UMKC SPs for communication and de-escalation simulations for TMC officers, as part of their continuing education.
UMKC’s community partnerships
Standardized patients from UMKC travel throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area to bring their expertise to agencies contracting with UMKC for health care education and simulation. Those entities include Metropolitan Community College, Park University, St. Luke’s College of Health Sciences and Research College of Nursing.
Joining UMKC Standardized Patient Program
Selection of new SPs is based on projected needs and available vacancies in the program. Employment is contingent on candidates meeting University employment requirements, which include passing a criminal background check. As irregular, part-time employees, SPs are not eligible for University health or other benefits.
To apply, please access UMKC’s job application portal. Click on “view jobs” to access all available opportunities at UMKC, and to read application guidelines prior to forwarding materials. To locate the UMKC SP Program job listing, search for “School of Medicine Standardized Patient 66216”, with Job ID 23559.
Courtney McCain, BS, NRP
Coordinator, Standardized Patient Program
UMKC School of Medicine
Clinical Training Facility
2411 Holmes, Kansas City, MO 64108