Nursing VR Training: How VR Simulations Are Shaping Nursing Education

Virtual reality simulations take nursing students into real-world clinical situations. Nursing VR Training exposes learners to the problems and risks they will encounter in their future day to day. Virtual Reality Simulations have especially shifted methods of learning for the healthcare industry. This has resulted in the elevation of teaching and learning processes in nursing education for students and professionals alike. Simulations allow for theories and concepts learned to translate into obtaining clinical experiences.

What Are the Benefits of VR Learning for Nurses?

The immersive technology of VR has aided in the solutions for numerous problems in the Nursing Education Field. According to a study conducted by the BMC Medical Education, simulation-based nursing interventions have strong educational effects on learners. As of recently we are witnessing a positive trend with Wolturs Kluwer stating, 65% of nursing education programs are implementing VR nursing training.

1. VR Education Improves Patient Safety 

Nursing students working towards becoming CNAs are required to partake in clinical practices. Specifics vary, however, for example in California, students must complete 60 hours of classroom/online theory hours and 100 hours of clinical hands-on supervised training. Typically, training is done at the end of programs. However, for many students, working clinicals can be nerve-wracking. A hundred hours may sound like a lot of time, but in certain high-risk scenarios, students will not have any experience. VR simulations allow students to gain clinical decision-making and problem-solving skills without the endangerment of patients. This allows faculty to monitor the progression of students and move forward accordingly. VR allows for a person’s senses to be completely immersed in simulations. Learners are able to empathize with patients to be well-equipped in dealing with patients in various cases. These simulations allow for a risk-free way to handle high-risk scenarios. 

2. VR Education Equalizes Education

In light of Covid-19, many schools utilized VR simulations to expose students to clinical experiences. It opened many eyes to the game changer VR is. In certain places, inhibiting factors for prospective nursing students include lack of resources, time, finances, and space in programs; however, VR expands accessibility to nursing education globally. According to the National Institute of Health, about 20% of the US Population, upwards of 50 million people, live in rural areas, however only 9% of the nation’s physicians practice in rural communities. The demand for more healthcare professionals in many communities can be supplemented with the wider access to healthcare education through VR. Communities in need will also be able to receive proper health care. Quality of education and healthcare is no longer constricted geographically. Students now have the opportunity to become more acquainted with scenarios they will encounter later in their career by doing, rather than simply watching.

3. VR Education Allows for Customized Learning

Each person’s studying habits and learning techniques vary. VR healthcare training allows for students to deploy personalized scenarios for targeted learning developing independence in critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Nursing students  are also more flexible, able to work on their own schedule anytime, anywhere. Without these constrictions, learning has never been more accessible.  Cloud-based delivery allows utmost access for practicing to be limitless.

What Areas of Nursing Use VR Training?

The opportunities to implement VR simulations into medical training are endless. From CNAs, CRNs, and RNPs, learners from every level have a simulation aid in their upward mobility. Simulations are available for the numerous different fields of nursing.

Obstetric VR Nursing

Obstetric (OB) and gynecology education is a vital field. Unfortunately, in recent years, the maternal mortality rates have been alarming. According to the World Health Organization, in 2017 alone, approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth within the initial 42 days of pregnancy. Inadequate staff training is commonly associated with adverse events for emergencies in OB. All stages of labor and strenuous challenges are able to be trained through VR, allowing learners to improve communication with mothers. Taxing challenges such as, postpartum hemorrhages and shoulder dystocia, are also available for learners to practice, in turn, counteracting the problem of inadequate staff training we see in OB.

Pediatric VR Nursing

Providing pediatric nursing care for pediatric patients in varying age groups from neonates, infants, children, and adolescents can be difficult to navigate. Being able to yield a safe environment for patients who do not feel comfortable in hospital settings is a point that VR is able to tackle. In scenarios, CNAs, RNs, and NPs are able to interact with varying clients as well as their differing reactions, cases, ages, etc. in order to prevent errors and emotional distress.

Mental Health VR Nursing

Certain knowledge, skills, and perspective are crucial to provide a safe and effective environment for vulnerable patients in mental health. VR allows Psychiatric mental health nurses to train in critical scenarios such as, crisis intervention, psychiatric rehabilitation, and the monitoring and administering of treatment regimens. With practice, learners are able to polish critical thinking skills to help mental health patients in crisis cases.

Geriatric VR Nursing

With the full sensory immersion VR provides, CNAs, RNs, and NPs alike  are able to gain empathy and understanding, just like face-to-face interactions. This is especially important to aiding in providing effective and empathetic nursing care for patients in the 65+ year age range. Learners are able to train through the complexities of geriatric nursing and polish communication skills.

Emergency Room (ER) VR Nursing

Working in the Emergency Room is one of the most mentally and physically taxing units in the healthcare system. Simultaneously, proper preparation is vastly important since the field is so high-risks. Simulations allow for training for a fast-paced medical environment teaching students how to prioritize patient care based on needs, improve reaction times to quickly identify the best way to stabilize patients, minimize patient pain, etc. For more information in ER Training with VR, see How VR is Revolutionizing the ER and contact MetaMedicsVR.

Perioperative Nursing VR

Working in a surgical environment can be daunting to many. Perioperative VR simulations allow the opportunity for exposure to surgical room stress, training for being an effective team member, effective patient monitoring, and providing the lead surgeon with the correct tools.

How Can You Experience VR Nursing Training?

There are a plethora of VR scenarios for nursing training. CNAs, RNs, and NPs alike can find what they need in the medical metaverse. If you are looking to improve nursing education and heighten patient safety, contact MetaMedicsVR and receive a complimentary consultation meeting with our healthcare specialist.