Simulation Center

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MAHEC is looking for people like you to portray patients and family members to train current and future healthcare providers for Western North Carolina.

Are you an adult between the ages of 20 and 75? Do you like to learn and use your imagination? Would you like to help improve health in Western North Carolina and earn money in the process?

If you answered YES, we encourage you to apply to participate in our Standardized Patient Program.


The Standardized Patient Program at MAHEC provides healthcare professionals and students with uniform patient experiences so they can develop, practice, and enhance their medical interviewing skills, communication skills, and physical exam techniques. Standardized patients (SPs) enable teaching faculty to reliably measure learners' performance without putting real patients at risk.

SPs are trained to portray specific cases for which learners will do a brief medical interview and/or a focused non-invasive physical examination.

SP roles include simulating physical symptoms, exhibiting the emotions of a patient or family member, and presenting a medical history. A typical patient scenario may last from 15 to 30 minutes, after which both the learner and SP will complete computer-based assessments of the learner's performance.


  • Meet specific case criteria (i.e., demographics)
  • Ability to simulate physical symptoms and emotions of a patient or family member
  • Willingness to undergo a non-invasive physical exam (which may involve wearing a hospital gown)
  • Availability for both training and interview/exam sessions of event
  • Reliable, punctual, and dependable
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Willingness to provide computer-based evaluations of the learner's performance


  • SPs are scheduled based on the learners' curricular schedules; dates are provided as far in advance as possible
  • Trainings and events typically run during the week, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:00 pm
  • All SPs are PRN (as needed) employees of MAHEC and do not receive any additional benefits associated with MAHEC

Hiring Range

Compensation will be provided at a rate of $15.80 per hour to those who qualify to participate.

To Apply

We strive to have a diverse pool of SPs of varying age, gender orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation. Although our SPs come from many different backgrounds, all must possess excellent communication skills. If you are interested in becoming a Standardized Patient (in an "as needed" PRN status), please contact for more information.

State-of-the-art medical simulation allows medical professionals and students to practice life-saving procedures without putting real patients at risk


We are the only provisionally accredited simulation center in Western North Carolina, demonstrating our commitment to the core standards and teaching and education standards of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Our 15,000-square-foot center is located on MAHEC's Biltmore campus and features operating, trauma, labor and delivery, task training, and simulated patient and clinic rooms as well as conference rooms for debriefing. We also have a robust standardized patient program to enhance our simulated learning scenarios.

Our simulation center provides medical professionals and students with the opportunity to practice real-life hospital, in-office, and emergency scenarios using a variety of simulation modalities for experiential learning including high fidelity manikins, standardized patients, task trainers, and laproscopic surgery, endoscopy/bronchoscopy, point-of-care ultrasound, and virtual reality simulators.


Simulation can be customized to meet specific training needs including, but not limited to:

  • Emergency care
  • Complicated medical procedures
  • Intensive care
  • Obstetrical emergencies
  • Psychiatric emergencies
  • Routine healthcare procedures
  • Surgical procedures
  • Trauma and serious injuries

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to provide high quality innovative simulation-based teaching, interprofessional collaboration and research that enhances clinical reasoning and safe practices of healthcare professionals in Western North Carolina.

Our vision is to be an accredited center of excellence in simulation based education and research for healthcare professionals in Western North Carolina.

Facility and Contact

The center is located in the lower level of the MAHEC Ob/Gyn Specialists building at 119 Hendersonville Road in Asheville. For more information about our facilities, to schedule a tour, or submit a suggestion for a specific training, please contact us at

Our Team

Tonja Schroder, MSN, RN, CPN Tonja Schroder, MSN, RN, CPN Director Simulation Center
Jasmin Adams, BS, MS, EMT-B Jasmin Adams, BS, MS, EMT-B Medical Education Simulation Manager
Cindy Boyle, BA Cindy Boyle, BA Simulation Specialist
Rita Esterwood, MSN, RN, NBCSN Rita Esterwood, MSN, RN, NBCSN Healthcare Outreach Manager
Lisa James, BS Lisa James, BS Simulation Center Project Manager
Katie Neligan, MSN, RN, CNL, PCCN-K Katie Neligan, MSN, RN, CNL, PCCN-K Clinical Simulation Curriculum Manager and RN Refresher Coordinator
 Paul Noblin Paul Noblin Simulation Center Operational Manager
Paul Rogers, MD Paul Rogers, MD Simulation Center Medical Director
Scott Schreiber Scott Schreiber Simulation Specialist
Misty Shane, MSN, RN Misty Shane, MSN, RN Nursing Clinical Educator
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