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MSSU to Train Nurses With Virtual Reality Simulation Lab

Funded by an anonymous donation, Missouri Southern State University will build a virtual reality lab in its Health Sciences Center to simulate dealing with patients, working with equipment and talking to family members.

Virtual Reality
(TNS) — An anonymous donor has provided funding for the Missouri Southern State University nursing department to purchase the equipment needed to create a health care virtual reality simulation lab.

“It will allow our students to have a safe environment to begin practicing skills and enhancing their learning before entering the clinical setting,” said Lisa Beals, who chairs the department, in a statement. “Students will be in a virtual environment where they can experience scenarios for patients in distress. With the VR goggles and hand controllers, they can work through the scenario by assessing the patient, using the equipment, dealing with conflict management, and talking to patients and families.”

The lab will be housed in the Health Sciences Center on campus. It is projected to be ready for use by the fall 2022 semester, and it also will be available for use by other health care programs in the MSSU College of Health Sciences, Beals said.

Virtual reality technology is used in a variety of fields, including in the airline industry and by the U.S. military. It is also a form of technology with which students today are familiar.

“This will be another tool that we have available to us,” Beals said. “We already have an outstanding simulation center, and we hope adding the virtual simulation room will facilitate our students learning using a layered approach. They can learn skills through a virtual scenario, and then experience them in a more tactile way using mannequins in the sim lab before going to clinicals (at area hospitals and other health care organizations).”

©2021 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.