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The Virtual Hospital – a safe environment for students to practise

The Virtual Hospital – a safe environment for students to practise

The online game Mediansa Virtual Hospital enables nursing students to practise working in a unit for infectious diseases. They will soon be able to practise in-patient ward routines virtually, too, as an extension of the game will be ready by the end of the year.

The Mediansa simulation game has been developed at Tampere University of Applied Sciences as a practice environment for nursing students.The learning environment is built on panoramic photographs of genuine hospital locations.

The game includes tasks, explanatory texts, multiple choice quizzes, and video clips.There's a choice of two language settings: Finnish and English.

The infectious disease unit in the game simulates infectious disease facilities and an isolation room in a real hospital. Panoramic photography allows the learner to explore the facilities, view videos of different situations and do learning tasks.

Students can practise aseptic working methods such as maintaining hand hygiene, using protective clothing, following isolation room protocol, and taking precautions against disease transmitted by contact, by droplet or by airborne pathogens.

Gaming makes learning easier

Over 400 students have tested the Virtual Hospital, and their feedback has been used to develop the system further. The students found that playing this game helped them to learn exactly the issues that were targeted.

User feedback shows that the realism of the visual environment and the learning-by-doing approach help students to understand the issues and commit them to long-term memory. According to research, the Virtual Hospital promotes development of the skills and practices essential in nursing work.

The first version of the game was created as early as 2009, in the Second Life 3D virtual world, where it was tested and developed. Later, an easier-to-use version was designed for a browser-based environment at mediansa.tamk.fi. JJ-Net Group was chosen as the supplier; the firm also markets and sells the game to other organizations such as hospitals and educational institutions.

The game's infectious disease unit is now a finished product. This year, the Virtual Hospital is expanding to include an in-patients' ward. The photography for the in-patients' ward will begin at Tampere University Hospital in August. The extension to the Virtual Hospital game should be ready by the end of 2015.

See the demo video of the Virtual Hospital on YouTube.

The language of the demo is Finnish but the game will also be offered in English.

If you want to order Mediansa for your own organization, contact jouni.kiiskinen@jj-net.fi

TEXT: SARI METTIÄINEN AND ANNA-LIISA KARJALAINEN
TRANSLATION: ANN SEPPÄNEN

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This article has been published in the TAMK.today online magazine. Read more stories!

Muokattu 29.03.2016