Many people view "learning" only in the contexts of education and training applications. This report focuses on the use of virtual reality to enhance learning across healthcare. We begin with a rigorous definition of the term “learning” and show that learning is broadly applicable in healthcare, going well beyond just education and training. Next, the neurobiology of learning is reviewed. Finally, three use cases in healthcare learning are outlined. In each case, we take a storytelling approach by introducing the reader to a hypothetical individual with a problem for which virtual reality can be of service. Finally, we end with closing remarks and areas for further discussion.
Jerome is a 29 year old Registered Nurse who lives and works in the Heartland of America. Jerome received his R.N. in early 2019 and immediately found employment in a nearby hospital in St. Louis. He was excited to put his knowledge and skills to work in the interest of patient health and well-being. As with so many newly-minted RNs he found the job exhilarating, but he also felt like there were some significant gaps in his training. In particular, he noticed very quickly that interpersonal skills are central to providing high-quality healthcare, yet this was almost completely absent from his formal training.
When he expressed this concern to his more seasoned colleagues they all nodded their head in agreement and assured him that effective communication skills training would be learned on-the-job. It was unspoken, though clear, they all agreed more training on these critical skills ought to be available in school.
Three years ago tonight I was busy melting into my favorite armchair in my old New York apartment while anxiously staring out the window at passing headlights below and listening to a barely-audible Moana soundtrack. In my hands were a single piece of paper and a lukewarm coffee: ready for whatever came next without knowing exactly what that might be, or when.
To be honest, the answers to these questions didn't matter much, I'd never felt more present; more alive. I knew why I was there — the rest would take shape in due time.
VR for Leadership Training in Healthcare
As any patient or healthcare provider will attest, effective healthcare leadership instills confidence and satisfaction, reduces anxiety and stress, and increases the likelihood of positive outcomes. This is critically important in healthcare because outcomes often involve life or death.
So, what makes an effective healthcare leader?