Does using virtual reality improve registered nurses’ capacity to interpret clinical skills and enhance their understanding of anatomy

Mr Brad Chesham1

1Bundle of Rays, Buderim, Australia

Context:

As technology advances and time becomes even more precious to healthcare professionals, the way their education is delivered also needs to change. A new frontier in healthcare education is upon the industry. This delivers instances where participants can expect immersive, hands on interaction enabling them to deconstruct anatomy and literally drift through physiology within a safe, virtual three-dimensional environment.

What we did:

Nurses and nursing students have reported difficulty translating concept-based scientific knowledge into practice. This can have a significant impact on their development as a professional and on their ability to provide safe care.

A literature search has helped identify that VR technology has been shown to improve user performance in tasks such as spatial understanding, memorization and training by allowing users to experience applications from a first-person perspective and to interact using natural techniques. VR and augmented reality (AR) technology have untouched potential with healthcare education and training. Digital manipulation tuned into spatial awareness allows a user to concentrate and practice key tasks or investigate complex concepts. The advancement of technology will now influence the way nursing education is conducted and consumed.

The aim of this presentation is to generate discussion and feedback on the perceptions, barriers and enthusiasm for new innovative technology that can support clinical skills training in the nursing profession.

This was something that innovative Australian-grown healthcare education company Bundle of Rays identified and set out to achieve. Bundle of Rays is now delivering courses integrated with VR and AR across Australia. By implementing VR and AR technology, the company has developed dynamic learning outcomes based on the gross anatomy of the chest, cardio-respiratory assessment and the basics of key diagnostics such as chest radiograph interpretation. It is not just the attendees that benefit from this interactive training model. For organizations this new style of education gives hospitals and employers the ability to train their staff virtually, therefore helping to limit the cost and risk of full simulation training. It also brings increased clinical confidence to the attendees with a hope to decrease errors and maximize clinical escalation through deeper understanding of core day to day tasks and physiological processes.

Conclusion:

VR and AR will have a place in the future of clinical skills training within healthcare. In order to solidify this academically we have submitted a PhD application to investigate the viability of VR in nursing education through Bundle of Rays and affiliated with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and can hopefully inform practice in the near future.


Biography:

Globally experienced critical care nurse with military and humanitarian exposure. Has a distinct interest in technology in education recently building a start-up business focused on implementing Virtual and Augmented reality technologies.