TAFE Queensland students studying the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI) now have the chance to see the human body in a whole new light, with ground-breaking local technology being integrated into their classes as part of a pilot program.
TAFE Queensland purchased the virtual and augmented reality technology from Sunshine Coast business Bundle of Rays and are now using it in the delivery of the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute – a dedicated education, training and research facility at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital run by partners Sunshine Coast Health and Hospital Service, the University of the Sunshine Coast, TAFE Queensland, and Griffith University.
TAFE Queensland Faculty Director of Community Services, Health and Sport (East Coast) Robyn Littlejohn said the technology is providing trainers at SCHI with the ability to offer their students a unique learning experience.
“As a partner of the Sunshine Coast Health Institute, we are committed to ensuring our students have access to state-of-the-art simulation equipment and facilities that replicate the hospital environment, and this virtual reality technology is only going to add to their experience by helping them put what they are learning into context,” Ms Littlejohn said.
“This technology will enhance our students’ understanding of anatomy and physiology by providing an opportunity for our students to explore the body’s organs and processes through 3D rendered vision."
“The students can hone in on an organ’s structure to see exactly how they function; for example, they’ll be able to see the opening and closing of heart valves or view gas exchange in the lungs.”
Ms Littlejohn said the technology is being used weekly by classes studying in five different units at SCHI, with a number of resources used in rotation.
“We have one class set of iPads and cubes that will allow our Stage 1 nursing students to view anatomy structure and get a grasp of how to operate the technology,” Ms Littlejohn said.
“We also have wireless virtual reality goggles, as well as a virtual reality laptop that will allow our trainers to connect to SCHI’s computers and stream images to all screens to enable student to view them that way.”
According to the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment, employment opportunities in health and social assistance were anticipated to grow by 23.7 per cent in the five years from 2019 to 2024. With that figure expected to grow significantly in the wake of the global pandemic, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in the health sector.