Students in Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing tested a new virtual reality simulation technology Tuesday, April 9, at the Mountain Area Health Education Center’s Biltmore Campus.

WCU developed the innovative training program in partnership with Learning Lab 360 and the Mountain Area Health Education Center as part of a $2.7 million federal grant designed to support community-based primary care clinical experiences for nurses.

During Tuesday’s pilot launch of the simulation, participants donned virtual reality masks and entered a scene where a patient had come into a clinic experiencing an allergic reaction to medication that worsened rapidly and included difficulty breathing. Learners had to make rapid decisions about the patient’s care and prioritize their responses at numerous points during the simulation.

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Originally published Apr. 11, 2019.