August 7, 2013Using Standardized Patients in Healthcare EducationWhen you visit a healthcare practitioner, you put your well-being, and sometimes even your life, in their hands, and you rely on them to be both skilled and compassionate. The education process that brings healthcare professionals to this level of ability relies on effective opportunities for students to practice their skills along the way. A particularly valuable means of engaging students in these interactions is through the use of standardized patients (SPs). Standardized patients are members of the community who are educated to portray real patients within a staged health setting. In Elon University’s School of Health Sciences, SPs work with students in both physical therapy (PT) and physician assistant (PA) studies to bring their education to life.