The paper is an examining of the role virtual reality is playing in nursing. Just as it is the case in other fields, virtual reality is changing how nursing services are offered, and how the nursing education is conducted. In particular, the paper is an explanation virtual reality training simulation and nursing and second life as two important aspects that nurses need to appreciate.
The first application of virtual reality in nurse training simulation. Nurse professionals use virtual reality to do training simulations, for example, midwifery (Virtual Reality Society, 2017). The simulation exposes the midwives to fundamental skills in real time virtual. For example, virtual reality simulations, allow midwives to have the experience through interaction with virtual patients together with practical scenarios (Rhoads, 2016). In other words, virtual reality goes above board to give students realistic experience that lecture theaters and books cannot offer.
As a matter of fact, the virtual simulations are vital to nurse staff who require refresher knowledge or advance their skills. Typically, nursing profession requires that staff keep abreast with the therapeutic changes and environmental dynamics (Rhoads, 2016). Therefore, virtual reality training simulations bring the opportunity of continuum training at the offices of the nurses who wish to improve some areas where they are not updated. For example, getting a new set of skills needed to work in an obstetrics ward, midwives would need to take simulation training which is made easy by virtual reality.
Second, virtual reality is important in nursing education. Today, student nurses get their education through virtual reality where they are trained to do a set of duties such as checking patient’s interpretive signs (Rhoads, 2016).. Also, the students are exposed to real-life emergency scenarios where they are taught the best way to react to emergencies including cardiac arrest (Virtual Reality Society, 2017). Therefore, in nursing education, virtual reality has taken root and comes with many benefits. The benefits include incorporating practical aspects in learning, allows trainees to be familiar with the technology, control learning environment, and facilitates the interaction with other professionals, and peers.
Third, virtual world brings second life in nursing. Through virtual reality, students can explore a virtual world where they create the environment and interact with others online (Rhoads, 2016). Ideally, the online virtual world is the virtual space that one can create to communicate with others using 3D virtual humans as called avatars. In the second life, avatars communicate with others, do other activities together such as learning new skills. However, for achieving the second life to training current techno-savvy generation, a virtual nursing school is a requirement. Second life has the advantage of allowing students to get skills on patients without affecting the life of the patients or they own.
From the above backdrop, nurses need to embrace this new trend in the medical profession. If the service delivery is to improve then, both professional nurses and trainees should adopt the virtual world. This is because virtual world enables all staffs in nursing to get the right skills by participating in the realities of nurse practices. In fact, virtual reality is a reality that no nurse should ignore since it is changing the profession at a very fast pace. Therefore, the sooner nurses appreciate it, the better they will become concerned with the technology.
- Rhoads, S. (2016). Healthcare in a virtual world. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 47(8), 18-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.numa.0000488864.61946.ad
- Virtual Reality Society (2017). Virtual reality in nursing. Virtual Reality Society. Retrieved 7 February 2017, from http://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality-healthcare/nursing.html