Tamara tells us what it means to be an actress in clinical simulation

Tamara Andrea Bustamante G贸mez

Actress in health and education. For ten years, she has been a hospital clown in Santiago, visiting pediatric services on a daily basis. In addition, she is an actress in clinical simulation, contributing to the training and development of communication skills and psycho-emotional management of undergraduate healthcare students. Currently, she coordinates actors at the University of Santiago de Chile. Since 2022, she is a founding member of SOCHIIHS, a society that seeks a social and health care model focused on the dignity of people in all its dimensions.

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As an actress, I have changed the stage and the audience I address.

“Today my body and my voice is an instrument that is at the disposal of clinical simulation for students’ learning.”

In my experience in theatrical pedagogy, hospital clown and as an actress in clinical simulation I have observed the relevance of developing and enhancing psychoemotional skills in healthcare professionals. Starting from the undergraduate level, in order to integrate theoretical knowledge as well as soft skills such as teamwork, effective and affective communication, active listening, empathy, good use of the voice, management of emotions,corporality, among others fundamental tools that generate a great difference in the attention to the user. In this way, together with the sciences, pedagogy and art, we contribute to a change and improvement in the current health model where the biomedical becomes biopsychosocial, in order to provide a person-centered care, closer and more humanized.

In practice, theatrical pedagogy is an active methodology in the classroom that relates the art of theater with education. Through this, it seeks in theater and dramatic play a new learning resource that develops the expressive and affective capacity, which is also an instance of personal and creative development.

As an actress, I approached clinical simulation back in 2017 for different healthcare careers. Today I am an Acting Coordinator at the University of Santiago de Chile. My position consists of searching for the actor/actress profile that best fits the requirement of the case according to age range, build (height, weight), language skills (if necessary), mastery in simulation complexity. As well, and a very important point, the actor or actress in question must be capable and have the appropriate knowledge and tools to deliver and share a good debriefing to the students.

In order to develop in an efficient, real and professional way each case and character in question, it is essential to study very well the actor’s text with all the description of the case,structure of the character, reason for consultation, symptomatology, study and understand clinical concepts to see if the character will require moulage or any specific characterization.

The work of an actor in simulation is in conjunction with other actors, so the power of creativity and improvisation is a great ally when, for example, there is no access to material resources to make a simulation as real as possible (e.g. dressing, splint, orthopedic collar, etc.) or when a last minute actor or actress cannot show up the next morning for the simulation. This is a problem that has to be solved quickly, in a team, looking for a replacement or accommodating schedules, but the simulation has to be done, no matter what. Without it, there is no class or even no evaluation during an exam such as the OSCE. The good news is that everything has a solution (or almost everything).

Although there is no professional career as an “Actor in Health” or “Actor in Clinical Simulation”, I could say that it is a specialty that one acquires and develops through years of practical experience, workshops and certification courses as an “Actor in Clinical Simulation” that can be taken for example in @pacientesimuladoscl

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