Abstract

This study explored virtual reality (VR) as an educational tool to offer immersive and experiential learning environments to biomedical engineering (BME) students. VR and traditional two-dimensional (2D) videos were created and used to teach required communication skills to BME students' while working with clinical partners in healthcare settings. The videos of interdisciplinary teams (engineering and nursing students) tackling medical device-related problems, similar to those commonly observed in healthcare settings, were shown to BME students. Student surveys indicated that, through VR videos, they felt more immersed in real-world clinical scenarios while learning about the clinical problems, each team-member's areas of expertise, their roles and responsibilities, and how an interdisciplinary team operated collectively to solve a problem in the presented settings. Students with a prior in-person immersion experience, in the presented settings, reported VR videos to serve as a possible alternative to in-person immersion and a useful tool for their preparedness for real-world clinical immersion. We concluded that VR holds promise as an educational tool to offer simulated clinical scenarios that are effective in training BME students for interprofessional collaborations.

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