Interactive Anatomy-Augmented Virtual Simulation Training

Published:December 11, 2017DOI:


      • The students like the graphics, fun games and interactive activities.
      • The anatomy-augmented reality trainer was better at visualizing internal structures.
      • The anatomy-augmented reality trainer mixes video and virtual elements.



      Traditionally, clinical psychomotor skills are taught through videos and demonstration by faculty, which does not allow for the visualization of internal structures and anatomical landmarks that would enhance the learner skill performance.


      Sophomore and junior nursing students attending a large Midwestern institution (N = 69) participated in this mixed methods study. Students demonstrated their ability to place a nasogastric tube (NGT) after being randomly assigned to usual training (control group) or an iPad anatomy-augmented virtual simulation training module (augmented reality [AR] group). The ability of the participants to demonstrate competence in placing the NGT was assessed using a 17-item competency checklist. After the demonstration, students completed a survey to elicit information about students' level of training, prior experience with NGT placement, satisfaction with the AR technology, and perceptions of AR as a potential teaching tool for clinical skills training.


      The ability to correctly place the NGT through all the checklist items was statistically significant in the AR group compared with the control group (p = .011). Eighty-six percent of participants in the AR group rated AR as superior/far superior with other procedural training programs to which they had been exposed, whereas, only 5.9% of participants in the control group rated the control program as superior/far superior (p < .001).


      Overall, the AR module was better received compared with the control group with regard to realism, identifying landmarks, visualization of internal organs, ease of use, usefulness, and promoting learning and understanding.


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