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Table 3 Summary of strategies from senior SPs for SP educators related to theme 3: fostering meaningful involvement for senior SPs

From: “Please let me know when I do not realize it myself”: a qualitative analysis of senior simulated patients’ experiences

Create a sense of security• Be supportive.
• Be empathic.
• Be compassionate.
• Be transparent.
• Be patient.
• Have a sense of humor.
• Make it fun.
• Treat us as individuals.
• Be structured yet responsive to the needs of the group.
• Adjust your training style when needed (e.g., work with us on a one-to-one basis if we are struggling).
• Facilitate our autonomy within a given structure.
• Provide feedback, especially if something has not gone well.
• Contact us if we are not performing according to expectations. Give us a chance to fix it.
• Feedback supported by video can be the most helpful proof for us to see and hear how we are doing.
• Create a culture of openness so we can identify areas of strength and disclose any concerns (e.g., not being able to memorize something the way we used to).
• Let us turn down work if we are not up to it or do not want to do it without fearing this choice will affect our standing in the program.
Adapt to our changing abilities• Provide thorough instructions.
• Provide clear information.
• Simplify the details in the scenario.
• Avoid unnecessary discussions/distractions during role training.
• Develop scenarios that do not have to be memorized.
• Provide “buzz” words (e.g., words that are easy for us to remember within the script).
• Allow us to draw on our own experience to fill in certain role details, if possible.
• Create routines that help us to remember (e.g., give us the same role).
• Provide alternative ways for us to work (e.g., trigger videos) that do not stress us or tax our memory.
• Give us simpler scenarios if you notice that we are struggling to memorize things.
• Send out the invitation for our next assignment well ahead of time.
• Recognize that we need a longer time to prepare than we used to.
• Do not give us too many assignments in too short a time.
• Let us choose how often and how long we work.
• Two hours is a good length of time for our involvement in a session, especially if we must give feedback.
• Giving feedback gets difficult when we work with too many students in a row during a session.
• Do not ask us to come in too often.
Acknowledge our contributions• Tell us when we do a good job.
• Provide us with an overall summary of where our work is being used.
• Let us know the impact of our work.
• Invite us to sessions where our work is being. used/discussed (e.g., at grand rounds) so we can see the impact of our work.
• Show us how the work we are doing fits into the larger educational context.
Provide opportunities for us to stay connected• Find even more ways for us to contribute.
• Provide opportunities for us to develop our skills.
• Provide more opportunities for us to network/build relationships with each other.
• Keep in regular contact with us (e.g., newsletter) even if we are no longer active.
• Let us know if there are lags in work so we do not think that you have forgotten about us or the program has stopped running.