Not believe? We can not blame you. But yes, faking being sick can actually make you money and that is because medical and other schools are in search of people to portray patients to help their students learn and they’ll pay you up to $25 an hour to pretend!
Here below we put a short guide for you on how to start:
- Find the Gigs
Medical schools, dentistry schools, physical therapy programs and the like rely on so-called “standardized patients” (SPs) looking for people who pretend to help students everything from how to break bad news to how to develop their clinical reasoning skills. The fact is that most medical schools and academic medical centers run their own SP programs. Do a search for “Standardized Patient Program’ to find ones in your area, then send your resume or make a phone call and ask what kinds of people they’re looking for.
- Do your Prep Work
When hired, you’ll likely receive an instruction packet before your training session that tells you the scenario you’ll be acting out. For example, a person with chronic backache, someone complaining of exhaustion and low concentration, etc. Be sure to read it carefully and dress accordingly. For example, if you’re playing someone who is sleep-deprived, you might dress a little disheveled.
Being able to consistently reenact the case is key, so after your training session (usually about three or four hours, for which you’re paid), you’ll have to portray your character with anywhere from four to 10 students. It’s important to show the same level of sadness, for example, over and over, so each student gets the same experience.
- Register your Experience
Part of being an SP often involves giving feedback. You may be asked to note, for instance, whether the students made eye contact. Did they interrupt you? Did they explain using clear language and not medical jargon? Did they ask you to explain the treatment plan back to them? Keep a mental checklist of the items you’ll need to report.
- Realize you’re Making a Difference
The best SPs get satisfaction from contributing to someone’s education, and they use them over and over again. Sidestepping any bias will help ensure you get asked back for more and more gigs.