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Virtual reality helps farmers and nurses understand industry-related accidents

A University of Nebraska team is using virtual reality to help train nurses and educate farmers about industry-related injuries.

Sue Shuelke, a College of Nursing instructor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in Lincoln, says when farmers play the game, it helps them understand how ag-related injuries happen. “It engages them and it opens them up to be receptive to then let’s talk about why when you tipped over. You had a serious injury because didn’t have your rods up.”

The game allows users to drive around a virtual farm on a tractor and complete objectives while trying to avoid a rollover. Users can explore, learn about various aspects of the farm, or even play mini games that involve collecting coins or racing cows.

She tells Brownfield virtual reality also helps nurses better understand the industry and provide quality care and education. “The nursing students will use that so that they gain that ‘oh, if I have never been on a tractor this is a little bit of what it is like’ and then they’ll be the one putting the headsets on the farmers,” she says.

Michelle Ellermeier, a College of Nursing instructor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in Kearney, says another benefit of the game is training youth on the farm. “The younger farmers, the kids still on the farm, might find it really intriguing and think it’s really cool that they have a video game that fits farming and sort of realistic,” Ellermeier says.

The team consists of the Computer Science and Engineering Senior Design team at UNL along with members of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Nursing and Public Health. There’s also support from the Central States Center for Agriculture Safety and Health.

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