How Medical Students Can Use Virtual Reality
Would you want a doctor to operate on you if he hasn’t had enough experience? Future doctors may be more prepared than ever before with the increasing capabilities of virtual reality. Instead of using a scalpel on an unsuspecting patient or cadaver, students are able to train using these virtual reality headsets in many circumstances. Medical students should all have access to this vital technology to improve the quality of care they offer to future patients.
If you still aren’t sure how virtual reality could change the face of the medical school, you may want to take a look at these top improvements that are possible.
Students can experience more surgeries.
You’ve seen the medical shows on television that show a hoard of interns circled an unconscious patient in the operating room. Only so many students can fit into this tiny space, and the types of surgeries they can witness are limited to what local patients suffer from most often. With virtual reality, they can expand the number and type of surgeries they witness before graduation.
Medical students can even continue to use virtual reality simulations to keep up with new trends and advancements. It no longer requires an operating room theater to see how a top surgeon can stitch a patient back to health. You can even go back and review the first-person footage to catch tricky parts of the procedure in greater detail.
Bedside manner can be more easily critiqued.
Virtual reality gives medical students an opportunity to practice on patients that are only seen through the headsets. This offers a much more realistic opportunity for instructors to watch students interact with patients before they are placed in front of a real person. The student can collect data about symptoms and offer treatment suggestions with a warm and caring bedside manner. Instructors can give more specific critiques to improve their interpersonal skills using these tools.
Future doctors learn how to handle emergencies with ease.
Can you imagine anything more overwhelming than finding yourself in the center of the emergency room, surrounded by a medical crisis? Doctors have few opportunities to prepare themselves for the reality of handling an emergency and the emotions that accompany it. They have a long way to go before they feel confident in these high-stress situations that can provoke serious anxiety. Virtual reality headsets give them an opportunity to practice.
While medical students might logically understand that the emergency is not real, it doesn’t change the feeling of being faced with lots of decisions. They have to make choices to save their virtual patient in a matter of minutes. Life or death suddenly becomes very real to future doctors, and they never even have to set foot in a hospital. This can ease the transition to more clinical settings and help weed out medical students that can’t handle the pressure.
Virtual reality is opening doors in every academic setting, but medical students could use it to raise the bar for healthcare around the world. Doctors will leave medical school with better training than they ever had in previous years.