Indexed on: 04 May '10Published on: 04 May '10Published in: International journal of speech-language pathology
The use of standardized patients has been reported as a viable addition to traditional models of professional practice education in medicine, nursing and allied health programs. Educational programs rely on the inclusion of work-integrated learning components in order to graduate competent practitioners. Allied health programs world-wide have reported increasing difficulty in attaining sufficient traditional placements for students within the workplace. In response to this, allied health professionals are challenged to be innovative and problem-solving in the development and maintenance of clinical education placements and to consider potential alternative learning opportunities for students. Whilst there is a bank of literature describing the use of standardized patients in medicine and nursing, reports of its use in speech-language pathology clinical education are limited. Therefore, this paper aims to (1) provide a review of literature reporting on the use of standardized patients within medical and allied health professions with particular reference to use in speech-language pathology, (2) discuss methodological and practical issues involved in establishing and maintaining a standardized patient program and (3) identify future directions for research and clinical programs using standardized patients to build foundation clinical skills such as communication, interpersonal interaction and interviewing.