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April 6, 2022

MCN Students Practice Real-life Scenarios in Virtual Reality

Nursing Simulation Lab Director Joanna Willett said VR is a way to enhance the many educational opportunities already available in the sim lab.

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A Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) student is working with a patient who has come into the hospital due to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19). As the student moves through the standard routine of checking vitals, the patient begins to suddenly decline, turning blue and struggling for air. The decisions the nurse makes in the next few moments are now a matter of life and death.

What would be an intense experience for any nurse is made easier by knowing that it is only a simulation made possible by virtual reality (VR) technology available at MCN’s Nursing Simulation Lab. Lab Director Joanna Willett said the technology is a way to further enhance the many educational opportunities already available in the lab.

“Our whole purpose in this building is to provide a safe environment where students can deliberately practice as well as perform in an area where they don’t have the chance to potentially harm people,” Willett said. “We have these selected scenarios so that they can have these guaranteed repeatable encounters safely, both physical and psychological.”

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