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October 20, 2022

Debunking the Top 6 Myths About VR

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Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

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Debunking the Top 6 Myths About VR

Virtual Reality (VR) is here to stay and impacts life as we know it across various fields. A recent study shows that learners using immersive virtual reality are 2.3 times more engaged and emotionally connected to the content than those learning from a computer screen (1). Maybe you’re thinking about taking the VR technology leap, but you still have some hesitations. Some of these uncertainties may be the result of VR myths and misconceptions we at UbiSim would love to dispel for you.

Debunking Myths

1. VR is only for gamers

Sure, VR is often associated with the gaming industry. However, VR experience has more and more possibilities as the technology evolves, playing a role in education, fitness, social interaction, medicine, tourism, shopping, design, and more. There’s a lot of power and immersion in VR, and it can do great good in the world beyond gaming! One amazing thing about VR is that users can follow storylines to learn the topic.

 Imagine, as a nurse-in-training, being able to interact with an elderly patient in a virtual world, displaying signs of sepsis and playing out each step of what you can do to help this patient. Our clients at UbiSim who use these simulations range from academic nursing institutions to training hospitals.

2. VR requires a ton of space

A common misconception is that you need lots of space to immerse yourself in VR, but VR setups can be flexible. It can be possible to move the coffee table out of the way and push the couch back! One of the standard suggestions for the amount of space needed is 7ft x 7 ft. 

All we recommend at UbiSim is 50 square feet of free space for a comfortable experience. There are a lot of possible configurations for setting up the equipment. Our VR simulation expert team can assist you in defining the best possible space arrangement within your space requirements.

3. VR is too expensive

It's a myth that all VR will break the bank like it used to, especially when you’re looking to scale software at a training institution. It can be an accessible technology at an affordable price point. According to a study based on the transformation of medical education due to VR, “From an institutional standpoint, VR allows simulations to be delivered at reduced cost with fewer resources” (2).UbiSim can allow access to complex clinical situations that can be initiated in seconds, with minimal faculty resources, possibly saving money in the long term. Benefits can be quantitative, such as a reduction in errors, improved patient safety, and a faster time to demonstrate competence, or qualitative such as improved student engagement and satisfaction, as well as building interest from prospective students.

4. VR always makes you nauseous

VR motion sickness or cybersickness is a rare but real issue. One key is to use a VR platform that has accurate proprioception (the sense of bodily awareness and our ability to feel and know the position and movement of our body) so that your brain and body movements stay connected. There are other ways to reduce the chance of nausea, such as reducing the length of the VR session because exposure time and VR sickness are significantly correlated. So limiting a VR simulation time to 15-20 minutes, or even up to 30 minutes, can substantially reduce the risk of feeling sick. 

UbiSim simulations are typically between 15-20 minutes (the time with the headset on). However, a complete simulation experience can take multiple hours because it includes a prebrief, the VR simulation, and a debrief (times can vary based on learner level, performance in the simulation, etc.).

Check out our guide to evading motion sickness in VR

5. VR is counter-productive

Of course, the quality of the VR technology depends on what is being offered, but it’s helpful to know that “The aviation industry credits VR-based simulation as a major contributor to a nearly 50% reduction in human error-related airline crashes since the 1970s” (3). VR is not just a video game. It’s simulating real-world experiences to make people perform better when they get into those scenarios. Many benefits come about when VR is used in nursing education. “Virtual reality simulations boost students’ concentration, engagement, confidence, motivation, and creativity, and allow them to put theory into practice and learn at their own pace” (4).UbiSim is committed to nursing education and helping our clients put theory into practice. 

Here’s a quote from Jeff Jacobson at Boston Children's Hospital, who uses UbiSim: “The feedback from students is very positive because there’s this novelty factor. They're going to pay a lot more attention and get more excited because it's interesting for them. Our nurses have that sense of novelty every time they play.”

6. VR is too new

Actually, one of the first augmented reality head-mounted displays can be traced back to 1966: the Sword of Damocles (5). The term “virtual reality” entered the landscape when the founder of VPL Research, Jaron Lanier, began making immersive virtual environments. Further, VR has been researched for 25 years, and there are over 1000 papers on the topic (6). UbiSim was founded in 2016 and has been continuously updated and improved since then. We were founded pre-pandemic because we know the value of VR in nursing education.

‍ Did you enjoy learning more about VR myths and UbiSim ’s applications? At UbiSim , it is our mission to make immersive virtual reality practical and useful for nursing education. We aim for our technology to bridge the gap between knowledge and application. Contact us for a free demo today!

 

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Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

As an integral center of UbiSim's content team, Ginelle pens stories on the rapidly changing landscape of VR in nursing simulation. Ginelle is committed to elevating the voices of practicing nurses, nurse educators, and program leaders who are making a difference.

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