Short Research Report
The reality of virtual reality at a South African university during the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 risk in clinical settings, undergraduate health professions students currently have limited opportunities for work-integrated learning. Work-integrated learning is fundamental for all health professions students who are expected to increase the health workforce at graduation and contribute to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Health sciences education institutions (HSEIs) need to devise innovative strategies, such as online virtual simulation, to enable students to integrate their theory and practice in such circumstances where planned work-integrated learning opportunities are interrupted.
Botha, De Wet and Botma (2020) (1) created and rigorously tested the "Nursing students virtual environment (VE)" as an innovative strategy to simulate the clinical learning platform. This VE utilised a head-mounted display (HMD), which immersed nursing students in a simulated clinical setting featuring a one-bed ward and a 28-year-old female patient with a foreign object in the right lung. Students donned the Oculus Rift (see Oculus, 2018) and used the touch controllers to navigate the environment and perform patient care activities within this clinical learning platform. The clinical learning platform, aimed at enhancing the clinical reasoning of nursing students, and is integrated as a strategy to augment clinical learning in undergraduate nursing students at the School of Nursing of the University of the Free State.
BS Botha, School of Nursing, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
L Hugo-Van Dyk, School of Nursing, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
CN Nyoni, School of Nursing, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
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Date published: 2021-10-07
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