Thanks to a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Nursing Innovation Grant Program, UTA’s Smart Hospital has tripled its fleet of telepresence robots and brought new training devices onboard to assist rural and remote nursing students.
Telepresence robots, which resemble computer tablets on wheels, enable two-way audio and video communication. With the robots, faculty members or students can move in clinical spaces and interact with patients and other caregivers.
“We’re excited to have new robots coming to our college and put students in the driver’s seat,” says Jennifer Roye, assistant dean for simulation and technology and project co-director.
UTA will also be able to obtain more task trainers, which are portable devices that allow nursing students to practice their skills remotely when social distancing precautions prevent them from attending a traditional skills lab.
The devices are estimated to help more than 200 students each semester.
“These robots are a helpful and creative solution to training students safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, one that will also help us increase educational access for our students in remote locations in the long term,” says Roye.