Introducing the First Interdisciplinary VR/Sim Lab in Virginia
Preparing our students for the future of healthcare requires completely new ways of defining a “classroom” and preparing students for the evolving demands of public health education.
Virtual and augmented reality bring the learning experience to our students across all our degree programs – delivering hands-on learning in an immersive environment conducive to applying and acquiring skills. Students gain experience across the lifespan - from fetal and neonatal care to pediatric and geriatric care.
The VR/Sim Lab plays an integral role in helping students gain the experiential learning required for on-time graduation and in delivering a curriculum focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Lab will play a leading role in providing practicum, field placement, and clinical hours.
- More than 1,500 square feet of dedicated VR/Simulation lab space
- VR extends beyond the lab and is portable to other classrooms and meeting spaces. Any space can be a VR lab
- Three state-of-the-art control rooms, each manages two simulation lab rooms
- 28 high-fidelity VR simulators and augmented reality headsets
- Cutting edge software and equipment for teaching curriculum across the lifespan, including pediatric, neonatal, obstetric, and geriatric care
- State-of-the-art simulation hardware for. software, and simulation scenarios for pressing public health issues, including opioid use disorder, behavioral health, and memory care
Interdisciplinary Learning Opportunities
- Students from all disciplines will use the VR/Sim Lab to gain experiential learning
- Standards-based simulation curriculum is integrated into course objectives to ensure a holistic learning experience
- The VR/Sim Lab will extend learning opportunities in areas such as OB/GYN, pediatrics, and gerontology where it can be difficult to earn sufficient clinical hours
Facilitated Simulation Debriefs
“The technology is not the innovation—the technology enables the innovation,” says Bethany Cieslowski, VR/Sim Lab Coordinator. “The learning really comes from the pre- and post-simulation briefings where students receive feedback and learn from the actions that result from critical thinking processes.”
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The VR/Sim Lab will play an integral role in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion curriculum at the College and beyond. Students, faculty, and community partners can simulate learning experiences to build cultural competencies and prepare students for in-person clinical experiences.
- The Tech Tribune: Research by Bethany Cieslowski is cited in a story about virtual reality enhancing the training of future nursesApril 18, 2023
- Canadian Television News: Research by Bethany Cieslowski is cited in a story about virtual reality enhancing the training of future nursesApril 17, 2023
- Nurses trained via virtual reality performed better than those trained by inpatient clinical trainingApril 13, 2023
- Can virtual reality simulation help address racism, discrimination, and microaggressions in teaching?October 14, 2022
- September 24, 2021