Visit StickyLock

Students at PA Medicine utilise VR to gain valuable experience

Adriane Strawn ’24 MPAM, a first-year PA Medicine student, had never used virtual reality until she enrolled in the University of Lynchburg’s Master of PA Medicine programme.

She along with the other members of her batch have been utilising VR sims to practise treating patients since their very first month on the campus.

According to Strawn, many of these experiences facilitated by the VR-based initiative would otherwise not be available to the students in real-life settings, as those were until they were in their clinical year. She remarked that the department can speed up the positive effects of administering medical treatments as the simulated features let them get faster access to outcomes. This, in effect, helps to determine if a treatment modality is having a good effect on a patient.

This autumn, VR was included in the coursework by the PA Medicine faculty in Lynchburg. They received a 2021 University of Lynchburg Teaching and Learning Center Innovative Grant, which they used to buy three sets of Oculus goggles in cooperation with Oxford Medical Simulation, a business that offers VR emergency situations.

Dr. Jenna Rolfs, associate dean of Lynchburg’s College of Medical Science and DMSC ’20 graduate, said that this ground-breaking technology is being included in the medical curriculum of other top-tier PA programmes. According to her, in order to keep its curriculum up to date with the field of medicine for prospective medical practitioners, Lynchburg continues to be resourceful and innovative.

Rolfs also said that VR enables regulated clinical training that encourages analytical reasoning and experiential training, whilst enabling PA students to expand and improve their judgement, treatment planning, and language skills.

The Critical Thinking in Medicine course, presented during the didactic year of the course, is employing virtual reality with PA Medicine students at Lynchburg. Students are given a medical simulation scenario every week that they can finish alone or in the project’s VR laboratory, which is situated in the Graduate Health Sciences complex.

According to Strawn, in the institution’s dermatology department, she and her fellow wards were given a case involving the skin that dealt with both an inpatient and an outpatient. It enabled them to apply some of the skills they had acquired just prior to that.

Strawn described what the VR offering provided to the students. She said that during the course of a case, up to its conclusion, the students can step into the role of healthcare providers. Their work involves gaining data related to patients assigned to them, carrying out physical tests, doing imaging and analysis, diagnosing them, and offering the right kind of treatment in VR, as they would in a real-life scenario.

According to her, the simulations offer what they will have to face under real-world clinical circumstances. She considers it a fruitful offering that can enhance the learning abilities of students.

Rolfs said that the settings are intended to enable learners to relive the virtual session and pinpoint where they can improve through customised feedback generated based on their particular achievements.

Join the Discussion

Visit StickyLock
Back to top