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Higher Education

Hesston College Prepares Students for Clinical Practice with Custom Scenarios in UbiSim

How Students Use UbiSim 

We typically have 8-9 students in each simulation and we have three scenarios we do in a four-hour period of time. Students rotate roles, and we project the observer view on a screen so the six students who are not in the simulation can see it. And they're just glued to that watching. 

I have many seniors that say "Can we only do VR simulation?" They like it because it feels realistic - the sound comes directly out of the patient's mouth. 

They feel that they can tune out that I'm there when they’re in UbiSim. That’s helpful for students who might feel intimidated that I’m watching them. I like that UbiSim lists the main competencies each scenario relates to. It dovetails well with our manikin-based scenarios that I developed over the years while doing simulations here at Hesston College. 

Editing Scenarios in UbiSim 

I created a whole scenario in less than an hour and a half with the UbiSim Editor - I had labs, X-rays, EKGs, echo reports, orders, and in all of the different states. And I’m not a gamer - I still have a flip phone. But it was so easy!

One of the things that I've done with UbiSim scenarios is edit them to put a family member in if there isn't one already. And I’ll have them be accusatory, act pushy, interrupt, and ask a lot of tough questions. 

I’ve noticed that the students who are newbies in VR actually respond to those characters faster than they do when they're in a traditional simulation. I think it’s because they have more confidence in VR.

Hesston College Nursing Students Are “Better Prepared”  

Every hospital where we do clinicals tells us "Your students come to us so much better prepared than other students." What they notice the most is our students' level of self-confidence, their assertiveness, and their ability to deal with psychological stress. They’re not afraid to just get in there. And so, they've had to realize, “UbiSim really does do something with what you know?

Do Students Get Virtual Reality Sickness in UbiSim? 

I just had a student who was afraid to try UbiSim for the first time. She said, "I get sick when I put a headset on." And I said, "Okay, let’s just start with you sitting down.” So, we did the stationary boundary and she put it on. Right away she said, “I need a trash can, I think I'm going to throw up.” And I said, "Well, there's a trash can right next to you, but let's just try." And she started to get focused on her virtual patient. Then all of a sudden, she's standing up and moving around and doing things! So, I asked, "How're you feeling now?"  And she immediately sat back down. I said, "Hey, you were just standing up and doing okay!" She was surprised at first. "Oh, yeah," she said. "You know, I came in here with a headache because I was so scared about doing this. But it's gone now." 

How UbiSim Compares to other VR programs

One of our sister institutions was given another VR program to use for free as a beta testing site, and the director was here in my office the other day. 

I asked how it was going. And she said “The students are communicating. They can look up to their right and access a menu of things to say." 

I said "There's a menu? How does that show they're doing clinical thinking? They didn't have to decide to introduce themselves and ask the patient their name and birthdate - they were cued to do it. Our students in UbiSim have to think about what to ask, and then they ask it.   

She told me she doesn't facilitate. I said, "How do you know what they're doing?" She said, "If they cast to the computer, we can see what they're doing. But we can't do that when we have six of them going at the same time in the same scenario." 

I said, “So you're not facilitating. You’re just testing them with VR, you're not teaching them anything with it.” 

I asked her, “Can you make your own scenarios?” She said yes, but that it took her hours to make a small scenario. She added, “I didn't realize I had to make all these different connections and make all those entries. You have to have an expert do it!” 

When she walked out, she said, "I'm pretty sure if you chose it, UbiSim is probably a really good product." 


Gregg Schroeder, MSN, APRN-CNS
Director of Nursing Education

I created a whole scenario in less than an hour and a half with the UbiSim Editor - I had labs, X-rays, EKGs, echo reports, orders, and in all of the different states. And I’m not a gamer - I still have a flip phone. But it was so easy!

UbiSim is used by all 1100 undergraduate nursing students and now accounts for 33% of simulation time in the BSN program

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