Virtual Reality and Nursing

Nursing and technology continue to grow hand-in-hand as more medically-based computer programs and Internet applications help provide opportunities for education, training and overall patient care. Not only are hospitals and medical facilities using virtual reality training equipment to educate nurses, but online nursing schools are integrating computer-based scenarios to help recreate the feel of a clinical experience. From the ability to understand medical scenarios and provide medical care, virtual reality simulations are giving nurses practical experience and training beyond what can be learned through textbooks and general classroom exposure.

Technology has always been a part of hands-on, clinical training and academic curriculum for nurses. Some of the earliest known virtual reality medical devices are those that helped to teach CPR. These mannequins simulated the look and feel of a patient in distress, allowing nurses to understand the delicate nature of performing CPR on others. Today, these same mannequins are much more advanced, providing nurses with the experience to diagnose, treat and respond to specific cardiac, respiratory or other disorders that may occur.

Nursing colleges, universities and online nursing schools are integrating these virtual reality devices and programs into curriculum and clinical lessons, as well as computer-based scenarios that increase the level of experience of nursing students achieved. Online nursing schools can not only give nursing students the academic foundation needed, but also provide "real world" scenarios of medical care needed even before the student nurse begins clinical education. With the competitive nature of nursing jobs across the country, these various methods of introducing and perfecting nursing skills can be a way to stand out above the competition once a nursing student begins searching for a position within a hospital or other medical facility.

With virtual reality simulations growing as methods to teach, train and acknowledge the skills necessary for nurses to provide medical care, the level of care possible grows accordingly. These technological devices and scenarios help keep nursing skills up to date, assuring patients, family and friends of the best medical care possible in times of illness, accident or injury.