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7. Summary of Recommendations

Recommendations regarding the implementation, management, current and future use of VERT have been made throughout this Report. They are grouped below according to their primary focus.

General Recommendations
It is recommended that:

  1. local, regional and national user groups are established with a multidisciplinary membership wherever possible;
  2. further research which eliminates the influence of intuitive view manipulation by experienced personnel is undertaken to determine the influence of user tracking on student performance in VERT scenarios.

It is recommended that Educators:

  1. integrate VERT into learning and teaching scenarios as early as possible in pre-registration programmes;
  2. ensure sessions are interactive and allow sufficient time for all students to engage individually where possible;
  3. limit session length where 3D stereoscopy is enabled, and consider disabling 3D stereoscopy where depth perception is not essential;
  4. use 3D stereoscopy and user tracking with caution, particularly where students are prone to vection-induced simulator sickness, headaches or visual disturbance;
  5. inform all users of the likelihood of symptoms prior to use of VERT; and minimise manipulation of the scene when a user is interacting with it;
  6. include in pre-placement VERT sessions: an introduction to fundamental concepts underpinning clinical practice; essential practical aspects; a focus on anatomy; and practice with simple techniques that facilitate the confident development of psychomotor skills;

Recommendations for Educational Institutions
It is recommended that:   

  1. use of VERT for the development of basic psychomotor/practical skills and to enhance confidence prior to initial clinical placements is continued;
  2. inherent spatial ability of students is assessed to assist identification of individuals who are likely to benefit most from VERT experience;
  3. a mentoring/’buddying’ scheme whereby VERT sessions are facilitated by experienced students is considered;
  4. funding for treatment planning systems for integration with the VERT technology is sought.

Recommendations for Radiotherapy and Oncology Departments
It is recommended that:

  1. centres develop suitable training packages to supplement training offered by Vertual Ltd. and cascade training to various user groups at a frequency appropriate to local needs;
  2. centres appoint VERT Leads and offer an appropriate level of protected time/workload allocation to ensure successful implementation and management of VERT;
  3. local VERT Leads encourage student engagement in the process where other groups of staff such as dosimetrists utilise Seminar VERT facilities;
  4. local VERT Leads encourage wider use of the facility while ensuring its availability to radiotherapy staff and students;
  5. in the medium term, more radiographers are trained to use VERT and afforded opportunities to facilitate teaching and learning sessions.

Recommendations for both Educational Institutions and Radiotherapy and Oncology Departments
It is recommended that:

  1. VERT installations are located as close as possible to the main work area;
  2. VERT facilities are booked on a regular basis and the time utilised in a meaningful way;
  3. pre-placement VERT sessions in educational institutions are supplemented by seminar VERT sessions during initial clinical placements to further enhance knowledge and skills;
  4. following use of VERT for pre-placement preparation, the aims of the initial placement are reviewed and consideration given to a change in emphasis from development of simpler psychomotor/practical skills to clinical and team working skills;
  5. staff consider using VERT to support ‘at-risk’ students where appropriate;
  6. VERT use is considered for the development of strategies in spatially complex set-ups at an early stage, particularly for those students with relatively poor spatial ability; and
  7. centres consider the use of problem-based learning in VERT

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