The application of virtual simulation in educational training has been happening for over a decade, and it is quickly gaining momentum. Virtual patient care simulations can be astonishingly accurate, presenting the learner with patient conditions and responses that are not duplicated in the same way by manikins or actors. They are not just limited to patient response – simulations can mimic entire environments where learners participating in a virtual reality scenario can work together and react to events happening within the program.
A good example of this is Team Leader VR, a virtual reality training program focused on improving team leadership during resuscitation events in clinical environments. This tool delivers a highly realistic – yet safe – environment simulating coding events that require not only team commitment, but clinical leadership capabilities from team leaders. Participants wear VR headsets and can interact within an open space or room set up to mimic the physical space in the simulation. Because this is a training tool, the simulated emergency is also augmented with questions and performance information, so leaders can take corrective actions in real time.
Team Leader VR is a perfect supplement to HealthStream’s Resuscitation Suite, which utilizes advanced manikins equipped with LED technology to measure compressions and ventilation technique, providing instant feedback to the student. The manikins offer an extremely realistic experience for ventilation and chest compressions, engaging learners in the moment so they can increase their skill level and experience confidence.
There are many applications where virtual simulation can be useful – for instance, CE Unlimited includes a large continuing education library with more than 20 skills-based virtual simulations to fully immerse clinicians in their learning and allow them to practice skills. Additionally, CE Unlimited can be integrated with Jane®, a tool that utilizes artificial intelligence to create an individualized path for learning development. Jane was “trained” using AI to identify problems, observations, actions, and rationale based on model answers, similar to those provided by a human assessor, so the clinician will have real-time, evidence-based feedback to increase critical thinking skills. In fact, in a study evaluating Jane’s assessment results with actual human scoring results, human raters and Jane’s AI rating agreed 82.7% of the time.
Tools like these can greatly enhance a learner’s engagement with their required training. The instant feedback is particularly helpful when learning techniques or reactionary skills, because the learner is immediately able to understand where there are skills gaps and focus practice on these areas. PwC performed a 2022 U.S. Metaverse Survey regarding diversity and inclusion training in regular business settings. They found that virtual reality could help employees complete training four times faster than regular classroom training, were four times more focused than e-learning peers, and an astonishing 275% more confident to apply skills learned after training. Additionally, VR trainees indicated they felt less distracted or tempted to multitask during training.
Will virtual learning ever fully replace traditional classroom or even online learning? That is doubtful – the most likely future is a blended approach with all three that allows for additional customization depending on the needs of a particular facility, or even at the individual learner level. But given its ability to engage learners, it won’t be too long before this becomes another commonplace tool in healthcare facilities nationwide.
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