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Holograms Help SIT Nursing Students Prepare For Possible Covid-19 Patients

How do you train healthcare workers to recognise and manage Covid-19 before you have access to patients, or before people get sick? Southern Institute of Technology nursing students are learning how thanks to Augmented Reality.

Just one day after the new GIGXR HoloPatient Covid-19 scenario was released, SIT tutors were able to include the special Covid-19 clinical assessment and management tool in their teaching, ensuring SIT trained nurses are as well prepared as possible for managing Covid-19 cases.

The Covid-19 scenario features multiple holographic clips of actors portraying patients with various symptoms, showing the deterioration in the patient as the virus progresses. The fully interactive scenario has voice over, shows patient monitoring data, and can be repeated and stopped at any point. Individual students or groups can participate in each scenario.

Karyn Madden, Year 2 Programme Manager of SIT’s Bachelor of Nursing, said using the Hololens Covid-19 scenario is the perfect platform to assist students in developing and refining their clinical assessment skills in a safe, controlled and supported learning environment.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is a fast-moving situation, and while New Zealand is in the enviable position of not having this disease in the community any more, we need our healthcare workers to be fully ready to identify and manage any cases, as well as keeping up with the latest learnings about the disease from around the globe”.

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The scenario offers students the chance to learn from the latest international understanding of the disease, how to handle an evolving clinical situation, and provides a completely safe environment in which to do so, free from any risk of contracting Covid-19.

“Being able to work with holographic patients is actually even better than real life, as it’s safer and provides a much wider range of clinical situations than would otherwise be possible” said Ms Madden.

SIT has been among the very first in New Zealand to embrace cutting-edge technology such as augmented reality for training students, with the first Hololens headsets acquired in July 2018. In 2019 SIT scooped the Microsoft Innovation award for Tertiary ICT, for their progressive approach in taking on new technologies including the Hololens for Nursing and virtual reality welding for Engineering. The continued investment in technology ensures SIT students receive one of the most contemporary education experiences currently available.

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