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Simulation Research Roundup (November 2023)
Simulation Research Roundup (November 2023)
Here’s what’s new this month: virtual reality simulation for building clinical competence, skills, and decision-making in nursing education.

Here at i3 Simulations, we’re always up-to-date with new research in simulation, education, and Extended Reality (XR) technology. We’ve decided to share this knowledge through a monthly blog series, where we’ll be sharing the latest evidence on how XR simulations are transforming medical training.

Here’s what’s new this month: virtual reality simulation for building clinical competence, skills, and decision-making in nursing education.

Maternity Collapse - Pre-Eclampsia

Virtual Reality Simulation in Nursing and Midwifery Education: A Usability Study

Saab et al. – Computers, Informatics, Nursing (2023)

This study shows virtual reality simulation benefits nursing and midwifery students. Participants found it acceptable, satisfactory, and useful for developing clinical skills safely.

The System Usability Scale score indicates good usability. Students liked the interactive, self-directed learning in a safe environment.

They recommend using virtual reality to prepare for placements, practice skills, and learn about rare situations.

Examining the impact of virtual reality on clinical decision making – An integrative review

Janes et al. – Nurse Education Today (2023)

This review synthesises research on using virtual reality simulation to improve clinical decision-making skills in undergraduate nursing students.

The findings show virtual reality can enhance critical thinking, reasoning, judgment, and decision-making.

Students find virtual reality teaching methods beneficial for developing clinical decision-making abilities. 

Mid-career switch nursing students’ perceptions and experiences of using immersive virtual reality for clinical skills learning: A mixed methods study

Lau et al. – Nurse Education Today (2023)

This mixed methods study examined using VR simulation to teach clinical skills to mid-career professionals transitioning into nursing.

Students perceived VR as an engaging supplement for safe, repetitive practice. Though not statistically significant, scores increased from pre- to post-VR training.

Despite some technological challenges, the study provides preliminary evidence that VR simulation could help mid-career nursing students gain procedural knowledge without risk.

Improving safety outcomes through medical error reduction via virtual reality-based clinical skills training

Kennedy, Pedram, Sanzone – Safety Science (2023)

This study examined using VR training to reduce medical errors in blood collection by novice students. The VR group received interactive simulation prior to a practical, while controls had traditional training.

The VR group made 40% fewer errors, showing VR’s viability for improving skills and reducing mistakes. 

Overall, results indicate interactive VR training can enhance traditional methods, significantly improve novice performance, and reduce errors in clinical procedures like blood draws, highlighting VR’s potential to improve patient safety.

VR nursing simulation

Instructor’s Experience of Extended Reality Applied to Nursing Education

Kim, Jeong – Clinical Simulation in Nursing (2023)

This qualitative study explored nursing instructors’ perspectives on using extended reality (XR) for clinical education through focus groups.

Key themes emerged including design considerations, environment setup, instructor preparation, needed support, and perceived value and limitations of XR. 

Overall, they saw strong potential for XR to supplement traditional nursing practicum training, especially given COVID-19 restrictions.

New Nurse Self-assessed Clinical Competence, Immersion, and Attitudes Following Virtual Reality Training on the Assessment of Pediatric Respiratory Distress

Raab et al. – Clinical Simulation in Nursing (2023)

This study examined using VR training to improve new nurses’ competence in assessing pediatric respiratory distress. 

Self-assessed competence in recognition and management significantly improved after the VR experience. Nurses felt the VR accurately mimicked real patients and was more effective than traditional learning.

The findings suggest VR training can enhance nurse residencies by improving perceived ability in pediatric respiratory assessment. VR’s realism and experiential learning may provide an optimal modality versus textbooks or lectures.

What did the research find?

The studies demonstrate VR simulation improves nursing and midwifery students’ skills development, decision-making abilities, and knowledge acquisition in a safe, controlled environment. Students find VR training more engaging, useful, and satisfactory compared to traditional methods. Both students and instructors noted VR allows repetitive practice for building competence without risk of harm.

Specifically, VR enhanced nursing students’ clinical skills, critical thinking, reasoning, judgement, and ability to assess pediatric respiratory distress. It reduced medical errors during blood draws by 40% versus traditional training alone. Students’ scores increased after VR training even when not statistically significant.

Overall, the research highlights VR simulation’s viability as a supplemental teaching modality for undergraduate and mid-career nursing students. The realism and interactivity appear optimal for experiential learning. While technological challenges exist, studies provide positive preliminary evidence to incorporate VR into nursing curricula and residencies. VR holds particular promise for developing competence safely despite pandemic practice restrictions.


To find out more information about XR technology in simulation training, check out our evidence overview, trial the training software, or contact us for more information and any research questions!

TJ

Author

TJ Matthews

Research Manager at i3 Simulations, an immersive solutions company specialising in healthcare training using cutting-edge XR technology.

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