Standardized Patients: Potential to Improve Student Training in Aural Rehabilitation Hearing loss is a growing public health concern. The multifaceted consequences of hearing loss are far reaching and include reduced audibility, well-being, and quality-of-life. Audiologists require specific training to address the wide range of hearing loss (re)habilitation needs, including some of the psychosocial needs of patients. One instructional method that ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2015
Standardized Patients: Potential to Improve Student Training in Aural Rehabilitation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Erin Picou
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Anne Marie Tharpe
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Financial Disclosure: This work was funded in part by an Advancing Academic Research Career award by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. This work was approved by Vanderbilt University's Institutional Review Board.
    Financial Disclosure: This work was funded in part by an Advancing Academic Research Career award by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. This work was approved by Vanderbilt University's Institutional Review Board.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: The authors have no nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: The authors have no nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2015
Standardized Patients: Potential to Improve Student Training in Aural Rehabilitation
SIG 8 Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance, November 2015, Vol. 16, 4-14. doi:10.1044/phi16.1.4
History: Received October 18, 2015 , Accepted November 23, 2015
SIG 8 Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance, November 2015, Vol. 16, 4-14. doi:10.1044/phi16.1.4
History: Received October 18, 2015; Accepted November 23, 2015

Hearing loss is a growing public health concern. The multifaceted consequences of hearing loss are far reaching and include reduced audibility, well-being, and quality-of-life. Audiologists require specific training to address the wide range of hearing loss (re)habilitation needs, including some of the psychosocial needs of patients. One instructional method that might provide valuable training for the next generation of clinicians is the use of simulated or standardized patients (SPs). Standardized patients (SPs) are actors who are recruited, trained, and typically paid to portray patients, family members, or healthcare team members in a standardized manner for purposes of training healthcare professionals. Advantages to using SPs as an instructional technique were identified through a review of the literature and through discussion with two focus groups of experienced educators in the field of audiology. Advantages included those inherent to SP scenarios (e.g., standardization, authenticity, and safety), as well as those inherent to the experience (e.g., student reflection, comprehensive feedback, etc.). Benefits to students can include increased student confidence and improved interpersonal skills. Although time and resource investments necessary for SP case implementation can be prohibitive for some programs, creative instructors can harness many of the benefits using alternative implementations of SP cases.

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