What is a Client Actor?
Client actors (CAs) are essentially “actors” portraying a patient, providing a learning opportunity for future healthcare providers.
At RRC, CAs are used to educate nursing students. CAs are provided with both a script of the face-to-face interaction with the students, as well as a background story outlining the patient’s history, personality, and physical and emotional symptoms. Once the CA has learned the character and their role, they will take part in a simulation scenario.
Why are CAs used in nursing education?
CAs offer a unique learning experience to nursing students, providing them with the opportunity to integrate the knowledge and skills they have learning in their program. Research has shown that using actors who are unknown to the student increases the authenticity of the experience and provides them with a valuable learning opportunity to care for a patient without putting an actual patient at risk.
Would I make a good Client Actor?
Performing as a CA can be a rewarding experience. The following are attributes of a CA:
- Is interested in contributing to the education of future healthcare professionals
- Possesses good communication and interpersonal skills
- Has the ability to provide feedback (positive and constructive criticism)
- Is creative and imaginative
- Enjoys working with people of all ages
- Is flexible and reliable
- Experience with the healthcare system (as a patient or family member), teaching or acting are all assets but not required.
How much time would I have to commit?
The time spent volunteering as a CA can vary, depending on your availability and the complexity of the patient you will be portraying but can average about 4-10 hours. This includes the time spent at RRC preparing and then participating in the simulation scenario.
You will be mailed or emailed the simulation scenario and script approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the simulation day. This will allow you time to review it and learn the patient’s experience.
Next, you will come to RRC and meet with the simulator facilitators to review the scenario and practice it (without students). This meeting will occur approximately 1 week before the simulation day and will last 1-2 hours.
On the day of the simulation, you can expect to be at RRC for 1-5 hours, and will perform in approximately 3-6 scenarios (depending on your availability). Snacks, refreshments and lunch will be provided.
How much am I paid to be CA?
Although some client actors programs in Canada are able to offer remuneration for your services, the RRC program is staffed by volunteers. We appreciate the time you volunteer and can provide the following on the day of the simulation:
- Snacks, refreshments, and lunch
- Free parking or bus fare reimbursement