U of R nursing school using virtual reality to train students

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The University of Rochester was one of twelve schools that were chosen to test a new virtual reality program from Wolters Kluwer Health. They were able to use it and provide valuable feedback.

“You can take your time, repeat your scenario over and over, you can’t repeat that in life,” RN/master’s in nursing education student Carlyn Niver said.

She was able to be a part of the testing program that gives students realistic patient scenarios.

“I think it would have been a huge benefit if I had it before going out because you have someone that’s right in front of you that you can perform these things on and get a real time response rather than a computer or something else that’s on paper that’s right in front of you that you can almost touch,” Niver said.

The school started testing it a year ago. They have eight headsets and added 26,000 square feet of new workspace for the students.

“I think one of the beauties about this space is that we are able to simulate, replicate, any experience that a student is going to see in a live clinical setting,” U of R Dean of the School of Nursing Lisa Kitko said.
She says the students learn though a technique they call “Failing forward”.

“You’re able to say the wrong things or make the wrong moves, forget to wash your hands maybe. And then that’s your trigger for next time to remember, “Oh, I didn’t do that, and then you actually have the action of doing it and you get in the pattern of it,” Niver said.

There is also an option for the students to use this technology to do clinical hours virtually instead of being in the hospital.

“When they do see this in a clinical environment, they’re better prepared. They’ve already been through that, they’re less nervous, they have that knowledge level, they have that confidence level. It is just great preparation for students,” Kitko said.