New technology allows local healthcare students to learn from home

ROANOKE, Va. – The pandemic has sparked the launch of a new virtual learning program for future nurses.

It’s called eHospital, a health care simulation platform for ECPI University students that includes many areas you would find in a hospital-like operation, patient and emergency rooms, a medical lab and more.

Development for the software started last year but the process sped up once the pandemic hit. Now, ECPI University students in Roanoke are using eHospital to prepare for the frontlines.

Think of eHospital almost like a video game for nursing and health science ECPI students. Users are able to learn multiple fundamental skills like how to take vitals.

At the start of the pandemic, a lot of clinical sites were closed to students and now that there can’t be as many students inside the lab at a time they’ve had to make smaller groups which means shorter time in the lab, so groups can rotate.

The program allows for hands-on learning at home to maximize the now limited time for in-person learning, a valuable solution to the challenges caused by the pandemic.

“eHosptial helps fill that gap for us because students can practice these skills in these learning modules and it really helps us to be able to know are they able to do this, it helps us to validate their ability,” said the director of the nursing associate program, Mary Ward, MSN, RN, OCN.

Ward said students started using the software last semester around late spring, now months later she explained she is seeing it benefit her students. She said eHospital becomes really helpful when someone is struggling with grasping a skill; the program allows them to go back and practice the skill over and over again.

“We have seen our NCLEX pass rates have actually been the highest that they’ve been so even with COVID we are able to keep things going really strong and I think eHospital and other technologies that we’ve had has helped us just to remain as strong as we’ve ever been,” Ward said.

ECPI University says this is just the beginning. Additional models and simulations are in the works that will include pediatric care, an interactive female birthing model and more.

For in-depth details on eHospital, click here.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.