University of Manitoba health sciences students using virtual reality

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University of Manitoba health sciences students using virtual reality
Virtual reality is now being implemented in students studying health sciences at the University of Manitoba. Teagan Rasche reports – Mar 15, 2024

From clinical settings to trauma situations to soft skills, virtual reality can help prepare students for nearly any type of situation they may face on the job.

“I really think VR is the future of simulation,” said Dr. Lawrence Gillman, the director of clinical learning and simulation program at the University of Manitoba. “All the stuff we do with a mannequin takes a big room and the mannequin costs $150,000. VR lets you put yourself in any environment.”

RadyVerse is cutting edge virtual reality technology now being used at the U of M. Students studying nursing, medicine, dentistry and other fields can now use it to simulate workplace situations.

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“Most people know what metaverse is with Facebook using virtual reality for games. We are just using virtual reality for education,” said Nicole Harder, a associate dean and professor at the U of M.

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U of M nursing students first started using VR during the pandemic. Now that it’s expanded to other health sciences departments, educators are seeing additional benefits like connecting students from anywhere.

“We can put multiple people in virtual reality in the same scenario with different head sets. So we can have people across the globe in simulation,” Harder said.

It’s not just the professors that are excited. Nursing student Lami Olaide never thought this would be part of her education.

“Getting to practice without the pressure of a real person — if anything bad happens, you know you’re good,” Olaide said.

Following Friday’s official launch of RadyVerse, professors will implement VR in the curriculum however they see fit.

“If we are trying to teach a skill before they go to clinical then we could obviously do it before. But then it might be something thats integrated throughout . It really depends on what we are trying to teach,” Harder said.

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