Looking forward to the 2017 ASPE Conference, Alexandria, VA

Looking forward to the 2017 ASPE Conference, Alexandria, VA
By Val Fulmer, ASPE President-elect

ASPE Board of Directors President-elect Valerie Fulmer is the Director of the Standardized Patient Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In preparation for the 2017 ASPE Conference, “Building a Global Network to Expand Ideas and Knowledge,” in Alexandria, VA, Val shared some thoughts about what she is looking forward to at the conference:

With each new year of membership in ASPE, my enthusiasm for this organization grows. I think to myself…

“Are we a perfect organization? No, far from it.”

“Do our board of directors and committee members seek to improve our internal function each year? Yes! They work like dogs!”

“Are we passionate about what we do? Absolutely!”

The conference committee is the perfect example of a dedicated volunteer group that has a big impact by organizing an array of enticing presentations for the annual conference. Each year conference attendees receive an ample helping of quality programming balanced with plenty of networking opportunities.

Many thanks to incoming conference chair Anne Chapin for jumping in with both feet and organizing the team that builds this engaging event. Hats off to past conference chair Cathy Smith for building such a strong foundation, along with so many committee members who have donated their time and energy to make our association grow each year.

In the 2016 Annual Conference Overall Survey, ASPE members gave us feedback about what they loved about the ASPE conference and what could be better. Here are some key findings from the survey:

100 % of conference attendees rated their overall conference experience as good, very good, or excellent. Not one single poor or fair!

Member comments that reflect the most common response themes include:

  • Sessions were scholarly
  • Plenty of quality programming to choose from and I came away with many good ideas that I will implement at my own institution
  • Amazingly kind, generous and passionate group
  • Great networking. Good content!
  • Well organized. Friendly and helpful administration
  • I wish there was more time to meet and greet. I would like more evening events. Longer breaks would be great
  • I would like to see more sessions targeted to advanced skills
  • I do not like 7:00 am sessions; it is a bit too early when changing time zones

The conference committee listened to this feedback!  The abstract review sub-committee poured over the submitted abstracts to bring the widest possible array of perspectives and ideas to the programming. This year’s conference schedule offers the best of both worlds; providing rich, scholarly programming while also supplying plenty of breaks for moving of bodies, digesting new ideas and connecting in the hallways with folks you would not otherwise meet. Your brains will be pleasantly throbbing at the end of each day and your pockets will be full of business cards as you head out for dinner!

Each year the conference committee invites some experienced presenters and the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to offer insight on areas of personal and professional expertise. Here are a handful of these special presentations to look up on the program app and highlight in your personal ASPE conference schedule.

Reflection Levels during Post-Simulation Discussions. Understand them, Guide them

Lead Author: Peter Dieckmann

Summary: In this workshop, I will present a model to measure reflection levels in debriefings and participants will apply it to examples. Post-simulation discussions are said to trigger reflective learning, which in turn is assumed to foster the applicability of what was learned in practice. Studies, however, show that the reflection levels reached in debriefings to not always reflect the level of aspiration declared by instructors. During this hands-on workshop, I would like to discuss the reflection level coding scheme adopted by our research group. Participants will learn to use it to rate reflection levels during debriefings and to stimulate their thinking around how they can guide the reflection levels with their interactions.

Self-Assessment and the SP Educator: Creative Professional Development

Lead Author: Sydney Smee

Summary: Most of us do not grow up wishing to be an SP Educator. More often, we come to the field from a variety of backgrounds, bringing with us different kinds of expertise. There is little in the way of formal education for the SPE, so the challenge is to create our own apprenticeships; apprenticeships tailored to our context, apprenticeships that respect our unique expertise and that recognize where we need to grow. This workshop uses principles outlined in Sargeant and her colleague’s article on their model of self-directed assessment.

Demystifying Validity and Reliability

Lead Author: Jane Miller

Summary: Reliability and validity are key concepts in assessment development and implementation. However, definitions of these concepts can be unclear. Standardized patient (SP) based assessments are used in various high-stakes examinations, requiring appropriate application of these concepts. This session aims to define reliability and validity, review examples of validity evidence, and apply these concepts in the context of SP methodology. The framework of Messick’s unified validity theory will be used as a reference, and participants will be exposed to sources of validity evidence based on guidelines from the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Resources for selecting and creating valid and reliable assessment tools will be shared.

SPs in Nursing Education: From undergraduate to graduate, for technical and nontechnical skills, in various fields of profession

Lead Author: Melih Elcin

Summary: Although the goal of nursing education is to equip students with professional nursing skills and prepare them for future professional life, the current training system may lead students graduate with less skills because of the lack of substructure and materials, insufficient numbers of nursing faculty members, increasing numbers of students, inadequate practice areas in terms of quality and quantity. One of the innovative ways to have students achieve the competencies appropriate for serving as a professional nurse is to use standardized patients in training programs.

SP-Based Simulation and LGBT Health: An Update from the AAMC’s Pilot Site for Inclusion of LGBT-DSD Guidelines in Medical Education

Lead Author: Carrie Bohnert

Summary: In this session on LGBT health and SP-based simulation, we will share one institution's perspective on:

- recruitment strategies
- casting/scheduling considerations
- strategies for quick culture change
- mitigating specific stressors, and
- awakening to the potential for hospital gowns, sports bras, and physical exam to trigger negative reactions

ASPE- Getting to know the GLOBAL side of our network: SP Programs from around the world introduce their specificities and discuss their hot topics

Lead Author: Henrike Hoelzer

Summary: In this panel, long-term ASPE members from Asia, America and Europe will be introducing the state-of-the-art in SP based education in their respective countries and invite participants to discuss common themes and mutual challenges.

A Review of the Literature

Lead Author: Karen Szauter

Summary: This session will provide an opportunity for attendees to engage in a discussion of current literature that highlights SP methodology.

Going the Distance with seniors as SPs

Lead Author: Cathy Smith

Summary: During this panel discussion, speakers representing four different institutions in two countries will share their experiences working with seniors as SPs. Panelists will outline their contexts, describe benefits and challenges they have encountered working with senior SPs, and share lessons learned. Then, discussion will be opened to the audience to raise and address questions, and share various approaches and lessons learned from others.

Med-Portal: How to Publish Your Own Work

Lead Author: Cate Nicholas

Summary: Standardized patient educators are actively involved in scholarly activity by creating, implementing and evaluating SP cases. These cases can easily be turned into scholarship by submitting them to MedEdPORTAL, an online peer reviewed publication. This workshop will take you through a step by step process so you can return home and a little extra work- hit the submit button.

Hybrid Simulation, Effective Application of SP Methodology

Lead Author: Carol Fleishman

Summary: The application of hybrid or multi-modal simulation, the integration of SPs and other simulation technologies, is increasingly common practice. This workshop provides the attendees the opportunity to discuss the strategies for ensuring that the inclusion of SPs in hybrid simulation is carried out in ways that optimize the benefits of working with humans and is based on the best practices of SP methodology. We will explore the experiences and expertise of the presenters and attendees through conversations about specific hybrid simulation projects. The focus of the discussions and opportunities for problem solving will be driven by attendees’ interests.

The workshop leaders and Hybrid SIG members have a wealth of experiences upon which to draw concerning hybrid and multi-modal simulation. We invite all who are interested in exploring these topics to join us and contribute to the conversation.

SP's Beyond Healthcare

Lead Author: Denise LaMarra

Summary: This workshop will focus on the application of SP methodology beyond the traditional healthcare realm. The workshop will be split into two parts: brief presentations on existing uses of SP methodology beyond healthcare that include operational details; and in-depth discussion on challenges and strategies related to building a non-SP client base, managing growth while maintaining existing programs and other issues raised by attendees.

Disseminating Your Work: Writing High Quality Abstracts

Lead Author: Karen Szauter

Summary: SP educators are creative, insightful and knowledgeable about SP methodology. Innovative work, as well as more formal research, must be shared within the education community to promote our profession. Regional, national and international meetings offer wonderful opportunities to disseminate work, however getting on the program requires submission of high quality material that withstands the rigor of peer review. Abstracts, concise summaries of work, often are the required submission format for meetings. Writing abstracts is a skill. Learning to write high quality abstracts requires an understanding of abstract guidelines and practice with this unique writing style.

Training the Trainer: Providing Effective Methodology and Necessary Tools to Your GTA/MUTA Trainers

Lead Author: Isle Polonko

Summary: You've attended numerous GTA/MUTA workshops in previous years and have set up a successful program. You now have to hire a trainer but don't know where to start. This workshop will provide crucial information to ensure you know how to choose the best candidate, have the best training techniques at your fingertips and know how to provide the necessary information to your GTA/MUTA trainer so that the high quality of your patient educators and the success of your program is maintained.

Preparing SP's for role portrayal in high stakes assessments

Lead Author: Cathy Smith

Summary: A structured yet interactive flexible format will be used to meet the intended outcomes, featuring discussions, a training simulation using a ‘fish bowl’ approach and stimuli for individual reflection.

Interprofessional Education and Patient-Directed Simulation: Bringing the Patient Voice and Patient-Centered Decision-Making into Collaborative Practice

Lead Author: Jane Miller

Summary: The World Health Organization's definition of interprofessional education includes not only collaboration between healthcare professionals, but also collaboration with patients and families in the care process. In this session, we will explore tools and strategies for creating more patient-directed simulations to teach and assess the full inclusion of patients in the care team.

So, pack an open mind into your luggage, and get ready to expand your global network, ideas and knowledge at ASPE Alexandria!

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.”

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