Virtual Patients, Virtual Labs, Virtual Simulation from Virtually Anywhere.

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

After the shutdown due to COVID 19 virtual patient simulation became a necessity for student success. In this session we will show you how we created immersive environments for virtual reality simulation and how we addressed the need for students to be able to have these experiences from home.


Bill has been involved in EMS for 22 years and as full-time Paramedic Educator for the last 10 years. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunications from the University of Florida and a Master's Degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida. Bill has been a leader in bringing distance education to Madison College and is currently working with other faculty in the college to help get them started using virtual solutions for their flexible learning classes. Bill is a father of two a dedicated husband and a voracious Florida Gators fan.

Extended Abstract

After the COVID 19 shutdown, our students lost the opportunity to meet in person to complete their lab and clinical skills requirements; our state of the art sim labs sat empty and dark. Students were forced to delay their graduation, and we vowed to find a way to make sure that if this happens again we will be better prepared to support those hands on skills for which solutions were lacking.

Virtual reality has been part of a larger conversation in our college and moves had already been made to connect with virtual reality leaders, as well as willing faculty to employ more VR in our skills and clinical classes. Initially we had envisioned a VR sim lab where students could come in and attend labs or clinicals in a virtual environment. When most people think of virtual reality they may think of someone with a headset on and physically manipulating items in an immersive environment, we were no different. When we had to stay away from the physical campus, we had to reevaluate the way we interact with the VR environment, having students passing around headsets and hardware was a less than ideal solution in the COVID environment, so innovation was necessary. With distance access paramount in our discussion, we worked collaboratively to dream bigger for the sake of our student’s success.

During this session, attendees will have the opportunity to:

1. Learn what virtual patient simulation looks like from home.

2. Learn about and see the assets that we are currently using with Acadicus to build patient simulation for Allied Health, Nursing, and EMS students.

3. Learn about and see the assets we are currently using for teaching HVAC technicians to troubleshoot and repair air-handling systems.

4. Learn about our plans for future branching out and building more immersive     environments from distance with and without VR hardware.


During the session attendees will be encouraged to ask questions of the presenter and the developer either through the chat (distance) or in the Q&A session to follow the main presentation. The presenter will facilitate a robust discussion centered around the hands-on and clinical skills that were initially thought of as impossible to complete via distance education. The developer will answer questions about computer needs and internet connection needs for distance; as well as the future uses of virtual reality when/if in person education can resume. We will also discuss the seamless integration of scenarios created for distance “at home” education into those in a possible future VR lab. This discussion will be very interactive and attendees will be encouraged to ask questions.

Questions we would like the attendees to consider are, but not limited to:

1. What limitations do I have in my own classes that are similar to what the faculty at Madison College experienced?

2. How can I use this technology in my own classes to supplement my teaching and enhance my students learning?

3. What barriers to learning can I break down with the help of virtual reality?