Opening of the Radiography Virtual Reality Suite
11 May 2022
School of Healthcare Sciences launch a new Virtual Reality Suite for Radiography students.
On Tuesday 26th April the School of Healthcare Sciences launched the new Virtual Reality Experience for Radiography students.
The School have invested in state-of-the-art Virtual Reality equipment and software for Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging students, supported by Higher Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).
Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all healthcare staff and students in our partner health boards. The pressure on NHS services inevitably impacted the clinical placements that are a vital part of our students’ journey to become qualified healthcare professionals.
For the dedicated team delivering Radiography education here in the School of Healthcare Sciences, virtual reality headsets were a welcome temporary solution; and their potential for use on an ongoing basis became quickly apparent. this investment in VR technology to create immersive simulation experiences gives students access what will be vital tools to aid pre-placement preparation; and enabling them to practice imaging without the radiation exposure risks.
Head of School Professor Dave Whitaker stated:
This was my first experience of a Radiography immersive environment and it was incredibly realistic. It will provide new students a close-to-real experience of what they will be confronted with during their initial placements, and allows more experienced students the opportunity to refine their techniques so as to produce the best clinical outcome whilst minimising patient and practitioner risk.
We were joined by Martin Riley, Deputy Director of Education, Commissioning and Quality, Nursing Directorate, at HEIW for the launch and participated in the VR experience alongside two of our radiography students. Martin said:
Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) is pleased that part of the funding we have provided to Cardiff University has been invested in VR technology to enhance Diagnostic Radiography students skills and learning opportunities. This is a great use of digitalisation and technology and an innovative way to build student confidence, prepare them for practice and to enable them to achieve some of their learning outcomes outside the clinical environment.
Students have faced significant disruption to their programmes throughout the past 2 years and there has been unprecedented pressure on the availability of suitable placements. We recognise the efforts made by universities in finding suitable placement opportunities and the expense attached to the development of innovative technologies to support a changing learning environment. We are committed to supporting universities to further enable students taught in Wales access to modern facilities that prepare them for a career in Wales on graduation.