Virtual reality is an accessible tool for supporting student engagement. It has the potential to encourage independent learning, appeal to different learning approaches, improve self-confidence, and is a form of active learning. Nursing instructors are leading the charge when it comes to adopting new educational technologies, and now, as educational programs of all types pivot to remote learning, nursing students have the advantage of leveraging digital simulation platforms designed for use outside of a traditional classroom. These platforms include hundreds of real-life scenarios and teach electronic health record use — offer a lifeline, often via a laptop or tablet. Virtual sessions could cover proper use of protective gear, for instance, or how to calm an aggressive patient.
Benefits of VR Simulated Training Programs for Nurses
Nursing education puts theory into practice. During clinical practice, nursing students make medication errors and have difficulty deciding on what interventions to perform in unusual situations and communicating with patients or other healthcare professionals. Virtual reality simulations show nursing students what it is like to be in a real-world clinical setting and what problems and risks they may encounter there, and thus, helps them develop skills, build confidence, and prepare for clinical practice. Students participating in VR simulations are more likely to become comfortable, confident, and successful in real clinical settings because they learn in an applied format. It also provides them with the opportunity to practice whenever and how often they want in safe and realistic environments without fear of making mistakes and harming patients while learning at their own pace.
Infections are the most common cause of death in hospitals. VR simulations can be used to help nurses develop positive attitudes towards hygiene, resulting in a reduction in the rate of infections. Simulation scenarios raised students’ awareness of hand hygiene and reduced the incidence of infection by creating more awareness about the problems caused due to decontamination.
All healthcare professionals should have effective communication skills to ensure the optimum paitent care. A lack of communication leads to missing patient data and poor planning, which may result in misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.VR simulations that can talk enable students to cooperate and make accurate and rapid clinical decisions.
Students who have developed fundamental nursing skills in virtual environments are likely to feel more comfortable and confident and minimize the harm that may result from interventions in real clinical settings.