As technology advances, nurse educators are reimagining how they deliver simulation-based education. VR is a solution that gives educators the flexibility to provide simulations that are scalable, innovative, and engaging. Hence, many educators are looking for solutions that are robust and caters to all their needs. Lets deep dive into some common questions that any nurse educator might have while using VR for training and educating nurses.
1. Is the platform designed for nurses?
Nursing students have unique educational requirements and need a simulation platform that puts them first. They need relevant simulations that incorporate the nursing process, nursing theory, and the holistic care of patients. This includes scenarios that challenge students within the nursing scope of practice as they make autonomous decisions and develop clinical judgment.
2. How much can we customize the scenarios?
Customization is key while choosing a VR platform because there is np ‘one shoe fits all’ solution while using VR for educating nurses. Pre-made scenarios can be very constraining and limit the extent of educational needs of your institution & region. Educators are always looking for flexibility while implementing VR, as nursing education has diverse learning objectives & outcomes. Students should ideally be prepared for any situation that they realistically see in their communities and real live environment and customization allows educators to ensure the simulation content is relevant and meaningful.
3. How immersive is the platform?
VR Stimulation is more of an umbrella term in the wide spectrum of different features ranging from screen-based activities to truly immersive experiences. The level of immersion, or the degree to which the learner feels present within the virtual clinical environment is the key distinguishing factor between various VR platforms. The more immersive a platform is, the more interactive experience is and the resultant outcome is tremendously improved. Immersive VR platforms provide a multisensory, hands-on experience inside a 3D virtual world with students donning headsets. They also perceive themselves as physically present inside the virtual clinical environment as they move around the space, operate the virtual equipment, assess the patient, and implement nursing interventions.
4. Can the trainees communicate with the virtual patient?
During VR simulation, it is important for nursing students to practice communicating with patients in their own words, as they would in a real-life clinical setting. The learning objective is only optimized if the nurses get a feedback from the patients during training. Virtual reality helps in creating scenarios in which students speak freely lead to increased authenticity, as they communicate naturally and realistically with the virtual patient. Trainers can then assess the students and give feedback based on the actual dialog with the virtual patient.
5. How often can students use VR?
Research shows that repeated exposure to a scenario improves student knowledge scores, clinical performance, and self-confidence in learning. Scenario repeatability also allows educators to implement simulation in a deliberate practice model, where students complete the scenario multiple times as they improve care of the virtual patient. Also, repeated attempts allow the educator to re-enter the scenario with students in order to focus on specific performance gaps or learning objectives within the overall simulation.