From the 27th of February to the 1st of March 2023, all roads led to the University of Galway in Ireland, where the third meeting of the ViReTrain-Project partners was successfully hosted. This meeting gave the entire team an opportunity to come together to discuss results since the previous meeting, explore the progress made and set out a roadmap for the coming months.
Through working closely together over the course of the project, the various team members have grown closer, and it was a well appreciated chance for colleagues, who are normally collaborating remotely, to meet in person once again. Proceedings commenced after everyone arrived at the impressive campus at the University of Galway. Initial arrangements and organisational point were outlined before Dr. Catherine Houghton, the Director of Research in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, gave an insight into the ongoing work at the university.
This was followed by a status report from the technical development partner “Ingenious Knowledge”. They briefed the wider team on the status of the scenarios and knowledge shared some of the problems that have been encountered so far. Furthermore, they presented the newest version of the project trailer which is now available on our homepage and YouTube (https://viretrain.eduproject.eu/trailer/).
After this, the German team presented their updates since the last international meeting and showcased the surgical scenario which was then trialled by the wider project members. A potential teething issue discussed, was how to ensure that lecturers will easily be able to configure the correct settings for the VR setup, as this can sometimes be a tedious process. A solution identified was to link to videos next to the relevant descriptions in the handbook and have a tutorial which will outline the handling of the controllers. Feedback and suggestions on how to further improve the scenario were also gathered and will be integrated soon.The conversation resumed after lunch on the topic of “Debriefing” after a student finishes a virtual simulation. Decisions focused on technical support were made and the teams gathered ideas around special aspects of debriefing after a VR- scenario but postponed further discussion on this point to a later date when more scenarios have been tested with students, as this will allow for first hand experiences to foster and drive idea development.
The following day had many items on the agenda. Various deadline dates were agreed as well as dates for further meetings on the development of the scenarios. Decision concerning the audio options were made: You will be able to get all the scenarios in Danish, German, and English versions.
Following this, the project partners toured the wider campus and were introduced to the Skills Lab of the University Hospital. At the lab, a casted mannequin was so impressively lifelike in appearance, that some of the team even got a shock after seeing it initially. After this, a number of the project partners had to put aside their camera shyness and conducted some interviews in a recording studio. You will soon be able to watch the interviews and get a glimpse into our work and personal experiences. Those that weren’t shooting took advantage of the time and worked in smaller groups on the various status points of their projects.
In the afternoon, two students from the university visited to play the scenarios. They quickly and confidently understood the handling and even noticed some differences between items that would normally be in an Irish hospital room and the prop items that were present in the scenario. Their feedback was included in the list of alterations and improvements and showed again how important it is to gather feedback from various sources.
The afternoon was also used for smaller meetings of each country with the technical partner, as well as for an exchange between the other countries. This helped keep proceedings focused and fostered individual progress for each team.
The final day was attended by a smaller delegation and was dominated by preparations for the first multiplier event in Ireland. To get more insights about this multiplier event, read the article on our website (https://viretrain.eduproject.eu/virtual-reality-training-for-healthcare-professionals-multipler-launch-event/).
The third international meeting came to an end and again showed how precious time spent collaborating together is. This meeting also demonstrated the extensive progress made so far towards our goal of realising highly immersive scenarios that are complex, authentic and embedded in a didactical sustained model.