Virtual Reality Simulations: Teaching Interpersonal and Clinical Judgments Skills to Healthcare Practitioners

Virtual Reality Simulations: Teaching Interpersonal and Clinical Judgments Skills to Healthcare Practitioners

Michelle Aebersold (University of Michigan School of Nursing, USA) and Dana Tschannen (University of Michigan School of Nursing, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0149-9.ch041

Abstract

The use of simulation in the training of healthcare professionals has become an essential part of the educational experience. Students and practitioners need to learn a variety of technical, interpersonal, and clinical judgment skills to be effective healthcare practitioners. Virtual simulation can provide an effective training method to facilitate learning and can be targeted to develop specific skills. This chapter reviews the literature around simulation techniques and outlines a development process that can be used to develop virtual simulations to meet a variety of learning objectives. Specific issues and solutions will also be presented to ensure a successful educational experience.
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Background

Patient safety is currently one of the most urgent issues facing our healthcare systems. Beginning with the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) (Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 2000) report on patient safety in which it was reported up to 98,000 people die each year because of medical errors, patient safety has become an urgent concern for both healthcare administrators and those educating the future generation of healthcare providers. The IOM (2003) has made recommendations on healthcare education focused around their vision, “All health professionals should be educated to deliver patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team, emphasizing evidence-based practice, quality improvement approaches and informatics” (http://www.jointcommission.org/sentinel_event.aspx). Many factors including how different professions train their students to communicate create the challenges in communication that currently exist between physicians and nurses in particular (Leonard, Graham, & Bonacum, 2004).

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