Iowa Geriatric Education Center Iowa Geriatric Education Center

Standardized Patient Actor Training

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Section 5 - Debriefing the Student


In giving feedback, it is often most effective to first offer the student the opportunity to critique his or her own performance. For example, ask questions such as the following:

  1. What do you think you did well?
  2. Is there anything that you think you missed or forgot to do in this encounter?
  3. What do you think you could improve?

Also, remember whenever possible to first accentuate the positive. Point out the areas where the student did well before discussing missed items or areas that could have been done better.

Be clear and direct in your feedback, both when discussing good performances and mistakes (or opportunities for improvement). If you have not done so already, as you review, check off what the student did on the on the "Did Your Physician..." checklist, and note any comments that you have about the student's performance (for example, any errors in procedure) on this form. Leave this checklist with the student so that he or she can review his or her performance later.

End the debrief session on a positive note. For example, provide a final item of praise for something done well, or offer the student encouragement.

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