Member Submissions: Life Hacks for the SP Educator

Member Submissions: Life Hacks for the SP Educator
By: Dan Brown, Emory School of Medicine, with contributions from ASPE membership

Occasionally members the ASPE Publications Committee will crowdsource content using the ASPE listserv. Keep an eye on listserv emails for opportunities to contribute! For more information on the listserv, click here.

I asked ASPE members to send me ideas for Life Hacks - simple, great ideas that solve problems that may be common to Educators at multiple institutions. The results did not disappoint! See below for some great outside-the-box ways to make your lives easier!

De-Roling Hack
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson, SP Trainer, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Clinical Education Center
SPs have a hard time letting go of an emotionally challenging role, like post-partum depression, after seeing several learners during an event.
LIFE HACK: Encourage your SPs to bring a “costume” or article of clothing (one SP, Marsha Harman, calls it her “depression sweatshirt”) that they can easily put on and then shed at the end of the event.  It’s easier to move into a different mental space when you look different.

Allergy Hack and Wrist Band Hack
Submitted by: Hor Chuen Yee, Assistant Manager, SP Educator, National University of Singapore
SPs with allergies to latex used for moulage wounds.
LIFE HACK: Mix common school water glue with cotton.  You can even pre-color the cotton or glue before mixing to give a good color stay.  After the session, it’s easy to remove with water and soap.  The cost to discard the moulage is low.  Each time it can be customized according to scenario, skin color of the SP and contour of the wounds.
PROBLEM: High wastage for wrist tags when clipped in standard fashion (usually need to be cut off to ‘release’ SP)
LIFE HACK: Stick Velcro instead, making the wrist tags reusable and adjustable according to SP’s wrist size.

SP Burnout Hack
Submitted by: Anna Lank, Managing Director, C3NY - Clinical Competence Center of New York
Too many encounters in one day or session, which threatens integrity and reliability of SP's.
LIFE HACK: Use "floaters"; one per case, to relieve SP's once, twice or even three times during a long day/session with many encounters. This requires training and employing one more SP per case then technically needed, but buys you time.

Repeat Email Hack
Submitted by: Todd Lash, Education Resource Specialist, Clinical Skills Education and Assessment Center Essig Patient Simulation Learning Laboratory, The Ohio State University
Typing the same emails over and over, such as recruitment or confirmation emails. Saving templates of frequently used emails in a separate document makes sense, but it takes time going back and forth between programs copying and pasting the desired text.
LIFE HACK: Put your email templates into your Outlook Signatures. Your signature is not limited to just your name and contact information. You can create signatures that include the entire email. Select the signature, change the salutation or dates, and click send. (Todd currently has 22 different pre-typed emails to choose from in his Outlook Signatures!)

Case Complexity Hack
Submitted by: Jamie Pitt, Assistant Director of Education for SPs, Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Recall for new SPs, or with a long checklist or complex script.
LIFE HACK: Prop book or magazine with a cheat sheet made to look like an article or crossword puzzle.

The SPs must be trained to use this in a way that isn’t obvious or distracting.

Findings Card Hack
Submitted by: Daniel Brown, Educator, Emory University School of Medicine, Clinical Skills Center
Too many findings cards; the case has three or more cards, but the SPs only have two pockets to hide them in, and have to be sure they pull out the right one at the right time.
LIFE HACK: Cut cards into clearly different shapes: rounded corners and longer, thinner rectangles are easy to distinguish by touch.

Publications Committee Mission: “To bring high quality reporting of current research, trends, techniques and information regarding SP methodology and other relevant industry articles to the attention of the membership through the web-based ASPE eNews blog.”

Please provide comments, questions or suggestions about the ASPE eNews Blog here.

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