Clinical Experience, Virtually
A Checklist for Getting Started with VR Simulation
With clinical experience becoming increasingly scarce, more schools are turning to immersive virtual options to supplement their curriculum.
This article provides a checklist for implementing virtual simulations with Acadicus.
As simulation expands into the digital realm, it exponentially increases capabilities. Students can engage in high-fidelity simulations with animated patients and immersive environments that can greatly increase realism.
These new opportunities are rapidly changing the role of the physical sim lab. Instead of replacing it, Acadicus is designed as a massive addition to it, packed with the virtual equivalent of millions of dollars worth of environments, patients, equipment, anatomy models, scene templates, expert demonstrations, and more.
Here’s How it Works
A private room in Acadicus is a $10,000 per year subscription that unlocks access to all of Acadicus’ features and content. There’s no additional cost per user, no limits to how often you can use it, and no charge to access the content library. Everything is included with your subscription.
Multiple participants can join your private room in Acadicus with a passcode, much like joining a Zoom call. They can join from any location – seeing, hearing, and interacting within the virtual scene.
Here are several things to consider as you prepare to implement virtual simulation in your program.
Prepare Your Hardware
This will be different for every school, but it’s important to set aside some time to get your virtual simulation equipment set up and tested ahead of time. You can get started with just one PC without a VR headset to access simulation in Non-VR mode, or set up a VR lab with multiple PCs and VR headsets to run multiplayer immersive simulations. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Is your PC compatible? Check our hardware requirements here (link).
- Is your PC connected directly to the internet via ethernet cable (vs. less stable wifi)?
- Do you have an adequate play area for each VR station? We recommend no less than 6 feet by 6 feet area per station, but more is better.
- Is the VR headset fully configured? For example, Oculus requires the setup of a ‘Guardian’ play area (link). This will need to be established the first time your system is used in a new location.
Getting a successful virtual simulation program started depends entirely on faculty adoption. Without an enthusiastic evangelist to pave the way, it can be challenging to get others engaged. To help build momentum, it can be helpful to establish VR office hours, or have a VR open house where students and faculty can try it out beyond the limits of a specific curriculum or set of learning objectives.
Define Your Goals
Once you’ve identified courses and faculty that would be a good fit for introducing virtual simulation, the next step is defining which activities are best suited to their objectives. Acadicus comes with a wide variety of content that can be useful across a range of topics. For example, anatomy and physiology courses can make use of the skull, skeletal, and muscular anatomy sims in Acadicus. Nursing courses can engage in live interactions with simulated patients. EMS students would certainly benefit from participating in dynamic cardiology / ACLS simulations. If you’d like to create a custom simulation, contact us to begin the development of a Simulation Plan. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination, and there’s something for everyone.
Train Your Facilitators
Acadicus comes with 3 training sessions to help get your faculty and facilitators up to speed. If you haven’t already scheduled and completed your training, please contact us to get started! This will give you the info and hands-on experience you need to successfully implement virtual simulation.
Additionally, if you plan to have someone playing the role of a patient for a live simulation, get them trained on using the Simulation Manager to choreograph the learning experience.
After implementing your first virtual simulation, it’s important to gather feedback. This can be as simple as talking with students and faculty about how the simulation went or asking them to take a brief survey. This information can be used to improve and refine your program over time.
We hope this article provided some ideas for how you can be prepared for the fall semester. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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