Middlesex University London is putting student nurses, pediatric postgrads and midwifery students to work in virtual environments to deal with scenarios faced in real-world settings.
Supplied by Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS), the virtual training environment is currently being rolled out to third-year student nurses and pediatric postgraduates, with student midwives gaining access to the setup later in the year.
The digitized hospital ward presents students with 20 different scenarios through Oculus Rift VR headsets — including patients with breathing problems, diabetes, Sepsis, severe allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The trainees can interact with virtual patients, diagnose any maladies and respond with the best treatment.
Upon completion of the exercises, the system’s analytics engine provides students with feedback and grading to discuss with real-world tutors.
“Students can obtain the feedback, see how well they have performed and discuss the results after their own internal reflection, so learning can emerge through the actions that are right or wrong,” said the university’s Fiona Suthers. “This technology is allowing students to make mistakes without repercussions.”
Last year, Middlesex University London opened a four-bed virtual ward that included an augmented pregnancy model to practice normal deliveries and emergency situations, a neo-natal baby that moves and breathes and can respond to treatment, and a torso for teaching human anatomy and ultrasound scanning. The university is one of the first to make the OMS medical training platform available to nursing students.