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Higher Education
ACC Grant Funds VR Lab Stations
Press Release
Wednesday, August 08, 2018

ACC virtual realityOne of the most important elements of Allied Health education and training is simulation.

A recent Innovative Initiative grant from the Alvin Community College Foundation will help enhance healthcare simulation with the implementation of virtual reality lab stations.

While the Allied Health programs will use the VR stations initially, other programs will be able to utilize them in the future.

“With portable VR lab stations, the instructor will be able to make the impossible, possible, and give students the ability to fine tune their critical thinking skills and work on things that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to,” said Dr. Stacy Ebert, ACC Allied Health director. “The extraordinarily immersive environment allows students to work on any real life applications regardless of their skill level.”

The stations will include computer-generated audio and visual simulations. The Foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to the Allied Health department to purchase the virtual reality lab stations and software.

The Innovative Initiative Grants were awarded to eleven projects this spring. They are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to fulfill the mission of the college. The grants will be used for the 2018-19 academic year.

Ebert said the stations will be purchased in time for the Fall semester.

Simulating a healthcare environment through virtual technology can give students vital experience in a safe setting, Ebert said.

“With this device, students can explore the human body, isolate organs and look at them up close,” Ebert said. “The synthetic environment allows the student to move and explore in a full 360 degree space.  In this immersive VR, objects appear solid, much like the real world, and the student can pick things up to examine and interact within the space that feels like it surrounds them.”

The VR stations will provide in-depth experience with human anatomy and possible treatment scenarios, she said.

“VR medical training simulations can simulate traumatic scenarios and allow the student to make critical decisions regarding patient care,” Ebert said.

The Foundation issued $12,290 in Innovative Initiative grants this year.

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