Virtual Medical Coaching Offers Childbirth and Midwifery VR Training Solution
Advancing technologies have helped shape the use of virtual reality across healthcare simulation as a means of digital learning. A number of benefits associated with using VR simulations in clinical settings include time-saving, greater confidence, safety from risks, and the optimal use of the clinical environment. Yet, many learners only had access to this technology through their institution, and thus lost access during 2020’s COVID-19 restrictions. During this time, Virtual Medical Coaching (VMC) stepped in and adapted the company’s Radiography and Radiation safety solutions to be able to perform on remote desktops, ensuring access to thousands of users from their remote/home environments.
This HealthySimulation.com article highlights Virtual Medical Coaching’s newest Childbirth and Midwifery Solution, which is now readily available to Universities and Colleges on campus and remote learners with access to Virtual Reality (VR) equipment and soon-to-remote learners on their Desktop computers.
It all started with a request from a clinical education University for more VR skills training tools to be used in their training programs, which propelled Virtual Medical Coaching to develop the new OB Midwifery specialty training. Such simulators would help clinical OB educators teach clinical tasks difficult to achieve in a non-VR environment, where access to patients was limited and incorrect actions could cause serious harm, removing novice learners from real-world patient encounters where more competency was required.
Virtual Medical Coaching recognized that many learners were not experiencing the number and range of births they required in order to achieve competency and that this was a serious global issue. A primary reason for this included some patients reporting discomfort at receiving care from clinical students, which caused fear of litigation from Hospital Boards.
Ultimately, the Childbirth and Midwifery Simulation allows learners to learn and practice the skills and teamwork approach necessary to care for women and their partners during labor and birth. Virtual Medical Coaching’s simulations help learners observe the mechanisms of labor care such as the rotations and restitutions and to guide the mother through this process.
Instead of observing a woman giving birth with multiple learners, which is a negative experience for mothers, and their partners, and causes midwives to become distracted, with Virtual Medical Coaching they will be able to experience medical scenarios (including a difficult birth) without the risk, intrusion or discomfort associated with real-life observation.
These clinical simulations are becoming increasingly important to gain the necessary skills and confidence necessary to treat patience in practice. According to Virtual Medical Coaching, the use of VR training for learners increases performance in effectively managing maternal and neonatal care in labs. Throughout the company’s simulations, learner midwives and nurses are able to complete or delegate tasks from when a mother first enters the birthing suite, during the labor and birth of the baby, and until the baby is born safely and is breastfeeding.
Additionally, faculty can observe and critique learners during the VR simulations or the learner can work independently to improve their clinical practice. The opportunity to receive direct instantaneous and objective feedback is always welcomed by the learners and faculty. Further, the use of VR simulation in conjunction with adaptive learning and big data analytics in skills training for midwifery and nursing learners increases performance in effectively managing maternal and neonatal care in labs.
As seen throughout the company’s healthcare simulations, Virtual Medical Coaching strongly believes that diverse community representation matters, and as such, offers 60 different options for patient demographics in their Radiography simulations including different ethnicities and sizes. These are being worked on in the Birthing simulations where there are currently 4 ethnicities. The company is also working on customizing user skin tones to ensure that all learners can participate in a truly immersive learning experience so the user can see their VR hands look just like their real hands.
“Teaching diversity exposes students to various cultural and social groups, preparing students to become better citizens in their communities. These culturally responsive teaching strategies help to promote diversity in the learning environment,” said James Hayes, CEO, and Founder of Virtual Medical Coaching.
“With lockdown, our students missed their clinical placements altogether for 4 months. We, therefore, had some catch-up to do with our students and virtual reality is a very safe way for our students to be able to practice what they’ve learned independently without the risk” said Dr. Karen Knapp of the University of Exeter, an existing customer of Virtual Medical Coaching.
More About Virtual Medical Coaching
Virtual Medical Coaching (VMC) was founded as a result of people struggling with the tools available to them in their education journey. During his career as an academic lecturer, James saw the potential for students to learn in a more immersive way. With his teaching experience and prior clinical roles, he created the world’s first Edtech company that specializes in Virtual Reality simulation software, Big Data, artificial intelligence, and adaptive learning.
In addition to the 3 simulations that are already available (radiography, radiation safety, and childbirth), Virtual Medical Coaching intends to expand into additional imaging simulations including MRI, CT, and mammography simulations. It is the commitment of VMC to ensure that the best education is provided by working closely with medical experts to develop simulations that should meet the needs and interests of medical educators, as well as of students. The company’s solutions enable people to create rich stories and uncover valuable insights from data and ultimately make better decisions about their learning.
Stay tuned to the VMC website linked below for additional updates regarding these new imaging simulators coming soon.
Lance Baily, BA, EMT-B, is the Founder & CEO of HealthySimulation.com, which he started while serving as the Director of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas back in 2010. Lance is also the Founder and acting Advisor to the Board of SimGHOSTS.org, the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professionals operating healthcare simulation technologies. His co-edited Book: “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice” is cited as a key source for professional certification in the industry. Lance’s background also includes serving as a Simulation Technology Specialist for the LA Community College District, EMS fire fighting, Hollywood movie production, rescue diving, and global travel. He and his wife Abigail Baily, PhD live in Las Vegas, Nevada with their two amazing daughters.