Virtual Reality and Simulation Lab

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About Our VR Simulation Lab
man and two women wearing vr headgear

Introducing the First Interdisciplinary VR/Sim Lab in Virginia

Preparing our students for the future of healthcare requires completely new ways of defining a “classroom” and preparing students for the evolving demands of public health education. 

Virtual and augmented reality bring the learning experience to our students across all our degree programs – delivering hands-on learning in an immersive environment conducive to applying and acquiring skills.   Students gain experience across the lifespan - from fetal and neonatal care to pediatric and geriatric care. 

The VR/Sim Lab plays an integral role in helping students gain the experiential learning required for on-time graduation and in delivering a curriculum focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Lab will play a leading role in providing practicum, filed placement, and clinical hours. 

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Facilities and Equipment

VR/Simulation Facilities

  • More than 1,500 square feet of  dedicated Simulation/VRlab space
  • VR extends beyond the lab and is portable to other classrooms and meeting spaces. Any space can be a VR lab
  • Three state-of-the-art control rooms, each manages two simulation lab rooms 

VR/Sim Equipment

  • High-fidelity VR simulators and augmented reality simulators
  • Cutting edge software and equipment for teaching curriculum across the lifespan, including pediatric, neonatal, obstetric, and geriatric care
  • State-of-the art simulation software and simulation scenarios, including VR goggles
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Curriculum Development

Interdisciplinary Learning Opportunities

  • Students from all disciplines will use the VR/Sim Lab to gain experiential learning 
  • Standards-based simulation curriculum is integrated into course objectives to ensure a holistic learning experience
  • The VR/Sim Lab will extend learning opportunities in areas such as OB/GYN, pediatrics, and gerontology where it can be difficult to earn sufficient clinical hours

Facilitated Simulation Debriefs

“The technology is not the innovation—the technology enables the innovation,” says Bethany Cieslowski, VR/Sim Lab Coordinator. “The learning really comes from the pre- and post-simulation briefings where students receive feedback and learn from the actions that result from critical thinking processes.” 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The VR/Sim Lab will play an integral role in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion curriculum at the College and beyond. Students, faculty, and community partners can simulate learning experiences to build cultural competencies and prepare students for in-person clinical experiences.


 


 

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“The learning really comes from the pre- and post-simulation briefings where students receive feedback and learn from the actions that result from critical thinking processes.” 

Bethany Cieslowski, Simulation and VR Coordinator 
 

 “Obstetric and pediatric clinical opportunities are often limited for students– but with simulations, every student can participate in delivering a baby. The technology is not only cool but can help students complete their clinical requirements more efficiently.”

Cheryl Oetjen, Interim Department Chair for the School of Nursing at Mason
 

"The VR Simulation Lab is a safe environment for students to learn and develop a plan to treat their patients. It’s a great exercise to improve critical thinking, a must-have quality in medical field.”

Sindhu Mallala, Graduate Research Assistant, Health Informatics