Video Games: From Entertainment to Practical Training

Physician working with medical equipment
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In this day and age, video games have surpassed their original, intended purpose of simply providing entertainment. For example, the United States military uses video games in every branch of the armed forces for several main purposes: to recruit soldiers, to train them, and to treat their psychological disorders after war, such as PTSD. Now, other industries are taking notice of how video games can be used in unconventional training methods, like in healthcare.

Our research team at the Nicholson Center has taken note of how video games can be beneficial in medical training and recently finalized our own interactive platform as part of our Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery curriculum, aimed at improving team training and communication in robotic surgery. Specifically, the game focuses on the communication skills necessary for facilitating a safe robotic surgery, as a surgeon must learn how to delegate from a console across the room rather than at the operating table with his or her team. By introducing surgeons to complex situations in a video game before its application allows for a safe environment to learn and grow, and also gives the surgeon an opportunity to form a solution before it applies to a real patient. If a virtual patient were to have a complication, it is a low-stake situation for the surgeon, and they can learn from their mistakes.

Advanced video games and other methods of simulation have proven effective in training and teaching in numerous professions, creating a safe environment where mistakes are not detrimental to someone’s career, and are instead a learning experience. For a preview of our video game, click on the link below:

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