Virtual reality allows for immersive learning in the medical field

By Georgia Davis / Culture Editor - The Post

Doctors rush to the sliding glass doors of an emergency room as the transport team wheels in a patient. A child who fell out of a tree and suffered a blow to the head is on the gurney.

A resident doctor watches the medical professionals as they wheel the patient through the trauma center, taking in the movements and routines the superiors go through.

The hospital is in a state of organized chaos. When “incoming trauma” is announced through the intercom system, everyone is where they are supposed to be.

The resident stands to the side, watching and learning as the care team assesses the injuries and decides what to do next.

After taking in the surroundings, the resident takes off the virtual reality goggles that simulated the experience.

Doctors help patients like that who come into emergency rooms across the country. But now those scenarios can be played out for doctors, residents and nurses through a pair of virtual reality goggles, just like they were there in real time.

VR is a perk of new technology in the medical field and in medical education, said Tensing Maa, the director for the Situ Simulation Project at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Using a simulator while filming instead of a real patient allows for more options when it comes to learning about patient care, she said.

“We don’t have to wait for a real patient to come through,” Maa said. “We can say, ‘Oh, this is a head trauma. This is a burn patient coming through. This is a car accident.’ We can simulate all of those.”

With the aid of VR, hospitals and universities have been able to take a more immersive approach in teaching medical professionals and students. Ohio University is one place at the forefront of developing programs to change the way health care professionals learn how to better lend a healing hand to those who need it.

Read the rest of the article.