The Importance of Being Present Shared at ASPE Plenary Session


Blog post by SimGHOSTS Executive Director James Cypert

Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) 2016, plenary presenter Elaine Meyer, PhD, RN from Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School provided a great insight to the importance of simulation educators being truly present for their students. She stated that simulated patients are the first line in providing vital first person feedback especially in regards to interpersonal skills and conversations that are challenging in healthcare situations.

Authentic and realistic communication from the SP and faculty require courage, brains, and heart to be effective in a simulated environment. Being present in any situation is not an easy skill and most are not readily capable to just be, many have so many other distractions that pull them towards the past or future. Being in the moment, and being present is a vital interpersonal skill that can enhance the simulated situations that faculty present.

For me being present means to be calm, mind clear, decisive, and knowing what we want and what we expect. Being present is selecting to focus on the present situation, being aware of our own thoughts and the content of those thoughts. From here an individual is best prepared to respond to the current situation and to provide accurate and relevant feedback.