Volunteer Opportunities

Standardized Patient Volunteer Program

About the Volunteer Program

St. David's School of Nursing is located at Texas State University's Round Rock campus. Our volunteer SP program provides nursing students with additional opportunities to develop their clinical skills. Standardized Patients are community members who are carefully chosen and trained to accurately portray patients with specific clinical conditions.

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  • A Standardized Patient (SP) is someone who has been trained to accurately and consistently portray the personal history, physical findings and personality traits of an individual patient at a given point in time.

  • The Volunteer Standardized Patient (SP) program represents a powerful educational tool to help students in the health sciences understand the key issues, attitudes, and skills health professionals need to successfully provide excellent patient care.  In the program, volunteer SPs are trained to act as patients and portray the same characteristics with each student encounter at a given point in time.

  • Men, women, and children of all ages and ethnic groups are needed to represent the various cases and patient problems used for teaching.  Acting experience is not necessary.  All necessary training is provided by the staff of St. David’s School of Nursing Simulation Laboratory.

  • To be a standardized patient it is important that you:

    • Have the ability to maintain confidentiality
    • Are proficient with the English language both oral and written
    • Have a good short-term memory to remember the specifics of your role
    • Have at least a full morning (8am-12pm) OR one full afternoon (12pm-5pm) available during the week on a regular basis
    • Have reliable transportation
    • Have Email you can access daily
    • Have a telephone number where we can reach you
  • "I'm an actor - this should be easy for me and a good experience, too."

    Perhaps. You may find the role of a standardized patient much more difficult than working from a script or within common improvisational outlines, and you may find it very frustrating. The work of an SP has nothing to do with finding dramatic moments, entertaining, or playing to an audience. The role of an SP can be very repetitive; the same patient must be presented for every student. In addition to portraying the case, you will need to observe the behavior of the learner, provide balanced and objective feedback, and stay flexible to the needs of the faculty in each situation. The work of an SP also is confidential, and you will not be permitted to share SP material or use it in any public or private performance.

The many benefits of becoming a Standardized Patient include:

  • Serving others
  • Increasing your overall medical knowledge
  • The opportunity to obtain volunteer service hour credits
  • Contributing to the education of healthcare professionals
  • Gaining a better understanding of our national healthcare system

Ready To Get Started?

Call 512-716-2951 or click the button below to message the SP Coordinator