A standardized patient is a person who is paid to pose as a medical patient so nurses and doctors in training can learn their procedures. These days, many procedures are learned on plastic anatomically-correct models. But there are still techniques that need to be learned from real, live people, who can say, “Ouch!” Doctors and nurses can only do so much on each other, eventually they need standardized patients. These are often other college students and general members of the community who would enjoy being paid well for a few hours of work.
Most of the procedures are relatively routine and painless, such as getting a general physical exam, having blood drawn, or an EKG. But the medical personnel do need to learn everything, and that would include digital rectal exam, hernia check, and urinary catheterization. Some standardized patients really enjoy these situations. If a standardized patient should develop an erection during a procedure, the students are typically told that it’s normal, they should put the patient at ease, and generally ignore it. If the standardized patient becomes erect early on, things can get interesting as each student in succession continues to do whatever it is they have to do to this person while he is erect.