Whether training university graduates, such as occupational therapists, or remote community workers, Virtual Reality (VR) is a step forward. It provides new insight into the complexities that all health workers face.
VR coupled with scenario training, provokes deeper personal and emotional engagement for a deeper learning experience. It simultaenously engages multiple disciplines and technical expertise, consistently relying on content with empathy and human stories. This, rather than information and debate, overcomes diversity of prior knowledge, culture and context.
In short, it provides an increasingly effective method to bring about change in our attitudes and perspective.
For many cultures, including Papua New Guinea (PNG), that rely heavily on stories for sharing knowledge and history, and also for cultures that rely on personalised visual communication, which we also increasingly find in our modern world with the rise of selfie sticks and mobile personalised alerts – VR has a lot to offer.
In health training, problems that can be addressed through this medium, range widely from treatment practices to case management and rehabilitation. Examples of life problems we are working towards include: lowering PNG’s maternity mortality rate from 1 in 20 mothers dying during pregnancy (2015), that is, the highest maternal mortality rate in the Asia-Pacific; and enhancing the ability of allied health workers to deliver the most appropriate services to the 65.3 million forcibly displaced people (UNHCR 2015).
The problems that VR can immerse us in are great. VR provides a means to grapple with these health matters that are otherwise too risky or remote for us to enter. It assists us to be psychologically and professionally resilient to perform in workplaces that are full of unknowns, complex, chaotic circumstances and often where safety is a concern. These are increasingly the real and critical areas of work we are managing.
Using VR will accelerate the real world outcomes from health training, while bringing these hard-to access topics to the students in a safe way. The barrier? – the technology. But like with film and learning management systems, the technology always seems to catch up. So even the 360 experience in itself is worth the step into VR as a training platform.
We welcome Daniel Bury as a consultant in the Reality Learning team. He will assist community and cross-cultural programs with VR immersion. Directing cutting-edge content for virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, Daniel is Creator of the acclaimed Chasing the World, represented by CAA in Los Angeles, and is an expert in all stages of VR and 360 degree video production. He has extensive VR experience in Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Brazil, Peru and Morocco.
To explore how your training can embrace evolving opportunities of VR, contact us for a consultation today.