Welcome to the Simulated Participant Programme (SiPP) in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway.  

Our Simulated Learning and Simulated Participant Programme is an important strand in our College. Simulated Participants are persons who have been carefully trained to simulate an actual patient, relative or healthcare provider in a healthcare setting for learning, training or assessment. This is a critical step in preparing for practice, before real clinical encounters. We value the contribution of Simulated Participants to our healthcare programmes, to both develop our curriculum and support our learners to deliver patient-centred care. 

Our missionTo create a safe environment for student learning to support their development as healthcare professionals who deliver patient-focused care.

What is a Simulated Participant? 

A Simulated Participant (SP) is a person who has been carefully trained to simulate an actual patient, relative or healthcare provider in a healthcare learning, training or assessment session. 

Role of the Simulated Participant 

The Simulated Participant supports student doctors, nurses and other healthcare professions to practice the skills of history taking, physical examination, communication and other clinical and non-technical skills. They support graduate attributes acquisition, in a simulated and safe setting. The role of an SP is also to contribute to the students’ learning experience by providing feedback to the learner from the perspective of the patient. 

Who does this role suit? 

This role of a Simulated Participant would suit a person with a flexible schedule, who has an interest in role-play and teaching healthcare students in a supportive and nurturing environment.  

Key characteristics of Simulated Participants on this programme include good communication skills, reliability, ability to take direction and conscientiousness. Previous training is not a requirement as it will be provided in the programme.  

Key responsibilities of a Simulated Participant include memorising and recalling information in order to accurately portray a case as per the script provided, remaining in role for the duration of an encounter and providing student feedback as and when advised. SPs retain a professional manner at all times, seek and engage in feedback for their own improvement, adhere to the programme policies and procedures and accept only those roles that they are comfortable portraying.

The College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences anticipates that Simulated Participants will come from 3 main backgrounds: 

1)    Members of the local community or University/Hospital. 

2)    Patients attending local affiliated hospitals or primary care services. 

3)    Actors, who may be required for more complex cases, such as portraying more distressed emotional states or more challenging communication scenarios.

Simulated Participants can come from any background and previous training or acting experience are not requirements as all SPs will be provided with training as part of the programme. 

How to become a Simulated Participant? 

To participate in the programme, those interested should fill out the application form linked below. Details provided are added to the encrypted database of Simulated Participants in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. All information provided is confidential. When an event requiring Simulated Participants is being planned, the SiPP team search our database for SPs that best match the demographics of the cases being carried out. For example, a teaching event for history taking in a gynaecology case may request a 60-year-old female SP. A cardiac system physical examination with murmur findings would require a participant with such findings.‌

View our roadmap below for info on the path to becoming a Simulated Participant: 

How to become a SP

 Application Form: