New program offers community members the opportunity to receive certification as a healthcare simulation actor.
Fairfield University’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies is launching a three-day immersive acting program, Patients and Performance: Healthcare Method Actor Certificate Program, for local performers interested in earning their certification as a healthcare simulation actor. The workshop, which was created to provide nursing students with the opportunity to engage with real life standardized patients as opposed to high tech simulators, is open to the public and will take place January 12-14.
During each session, actors participating in the program will layer methods in improv while participating in empathy building experiences that immerse them in the role of a patient. After completing 10 unpaid hours as a standardized patient in the University's new state-of-the-art simulation center, program participants will receive their certification as a trained healthcare simulation actor and will have the opportunity to earn $15 per hour for any additional hours worked. In order to receive their certification, participants are required to attend all three sessions: Friday, Jan. 12 from 4 - 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 14 from 12 - 4 p.m.
The certificate program will be taught by Anka Roberto, DNP, PMHNP-BC, APRN, who is a visiting professor at the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and Tom Schwans, MFA, an adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Visual and Performing Arts Department.
Dr. Roberto is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with a research interest in the child trauma and the impact that brain based treatment has on resiliency and executive functioning. A leader of innovation and implementation of simulation throughout the nursing curricula at Fairfield’s Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, Dr. Roberto is a National League for Nursing Simulation Leadership Fellow and recently completed the International Nursing and Clinical Simulation in Learning Fellowship. She co-taught the first Acting the Medical Patient course in the fall of 2016, which has led to her passion for inviting humanism and empathy while training future health care providers.
Tom Schwans is a professional actor and director in New York City who has acted in major theaters across the country. He is the co-founder and executive director of the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project in New York City and has also served as associate artistic director for the Old Creamery Theatre in Iowa and interim artistic director of the Deertrees Theatre Festival in Maine. Since coming to Fairfield as a guest director in 2009, Schwans has directed many of Theatre Fairfield’s main stage productions, in addition to his duties as adjunct professor. He co-taught the Acting the Medical Patient course with Dr. Roberto last fall, and earned his master’s in acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory. He has also taught at Brown University, Quinnipiac University, and Southern Connecticut State University, and works with private clients in New York City.