How Nursing Programs Are Using Simulation Labs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted normal life for people all around the world, unexpectedly shutting down or temporarily restricting businesses and organizations in any industry deemed “non-essential.” Hospitals, wanting to both reduce the spread of the virus and dedicate their resources to where they’re needed most, are starting to close or heavily restrict onsite training and clinical rotations—which are essential forms of education for nurses and doctors of the world.

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Image: Intelligent Video Solutions LinkedIn account.

By itself, this could cause both short-term and long-term problems, limiting the rate at which new nurses and doctors can enter the workforce—and potentially causing disruptions in the healthcare system for years to come (especially with a doctor shortage already wreaking havoc). Fortunately, there’s an emerging alternative: simulation training and videos for remote education.

How Simulation Training Works

With systems like Intelligent Video Solutions’ VALT Software (which stands for Video, Audio Learning Tool), clinical educators have a path to continue training and educating students during the pandemic—without tying up vital resources or compromising the health of anyone involved.

The way it works is fairly simple. With the help of HD cameras, an organization can capture content from live appointments and healthcare facilities. Then, with the help of VALT, an organization can view, record, manage, edit, and stream videos to the people who need to watch them.

Nursing and medical students all over the country can then watch live or recorded videos to continue their training during quarantine conditions. If recorded live, students can even engage in a live dialogue with the professionals conducting the training session.

The Advantages of Simulation Learning

The big advantage from this system is that it allows students to continue getting the practical benefits of in-person, hands-on training sessions without forcing them to physically enter the healthcare facility. People can continue social distancing without disrupting their education.

However, there are a number of peripheral benefits that video-based simulation training provides, including:

Lower costs

It may cost money to get a video training system up and running, but once it’s established, it can actually be less expensive than other methods. Students won’t have to travel in person to a different facility, and won’t be forced to move as often. Over time, the costs of education may decrease as a result.


It’s no secret that video simulation training makes education more convenient for the majority of people. You don’t have to be in a specific classroom, or in a specific hospital, to get the benefits. If you’re live streaming, you can watch the video feed on almost any device with an internet connection, no matter where you are.

And if you’re watching a previously recorded session, you can call it up and view it at your convenience (though you may miss out on the potential interactions with your educator).

Resource availability

Trying to train students one on one can result in a bottleneck; a single physician or nurse can only host so many students throughout the course of their day. However, with the help of live video, they can reach an entire classroom of students without disrupting the flow of the hospital or making patients uncomfortable.

Again, if the videos are recorded and preserved for the future, there are even more possibilities; hundreds, or even thousands of students can eventually see this professional’s work.

Choice of environments

It’s possible for students to get exposure to a wide range of different hospitals and healthcare facilities. They can choose to work with specific organizations that appeal to them, or work with a diversity of environments so they can get a better mix of experiences. In the long run, this has the power to better train students, giving them exposure to many different procedures and workplace styles.

The power of archiving

Organizations can stream video simulations, allowing students to ask questions, but they can also record them. Over time, educational and healthcare facilities will be able to stockpile countless hours of footage and video education, which students should be able to access for years, if not decades to come. It’s a long-term investment that has the power to pay off indefinitely—and with value far exceeding the startup costs.

After the Pandemic

During the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare organizations, hospitals, and universities scrambled to incorporate more remote options for their students and trained professionals, flocking to new technologies like video simulation training.

However, as more of these organizations realize the many benefits of simulation training, it’s likely they’ll continue using them long after the pandemic dies down. The technology is becoming even more advanced, and even easier to use, so its popularity will likely only increase in the years that follow.


Interesting related article: “What is the Coronavirus?