Virtual reality (VR) is the term closely linked to a revolutionary new generation of gaming technology. VR gaming introduced the consumer to computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with via special electronic equipment such as a headset. By stimulating senses such as sight, sound and even smell, the interest and demand of VR technology have expanded to many other industries, most notably the healthcare industry.
VR is helping train medical students, assist surgeons in planning upcoming operations, and also providing unique treatments to patients with a variety of conditions while relieving pain and anxiety during minor procedures.
VR medical training
During medical school, students rarely have a chance to experience real-world surgical operations that they would need to perform precisely when the time arises. VR platforms allow students to fully immerse themselves in a surgical experience which requires quick thinking and analysis and also to view surgical procedures from a first-person perspective. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review VR training improved participants’ overall surgical performance by 230% compared with traditional training methods. Furthermore, VR is helping close the gap on any challenges doctors may come across during complicated procedures by providing 3D visualization of a patient’s body (with the help of MRI scans) which allows them to venture inside a patient’s organ from any desired angle to examine what surgical approach might work best for each individual patient.
VR has been used to successfully treat patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through exposure therapy. The idea is to take a patient back to the memory of their trauma over and over again until their triggers no longer produce anxiety. This method has been found to be more effective than treatments like medication and psychotherapy. Similarly, VR has been shown to manage chronic pain and anxiety for patients undergoing frightening procedures. The immersive effect of VR tricks the most primal parts of the brain into experiencing a different reality which, as a result, relieves the patient and takes focus away from the pain. Additionally, a study by the conversation found that, for patients who were anxious about walking during physical therapy sessions, by slowing down the rate at which patients moved in their virtual environment it naturally caused the patient to speed up their walking. It makes the process a little bit more fun since VR allows patients to use the movements of their therapy exercises as interactions in a VR simulation. VR is set to revolutionize the healthcare industry, as healthcare providers continue to recognize its benefits.
Injuries related to lifting continue to be a leading occupational health and safety issue. According to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration, more than one-third of all work-related injuries involve harm to the shoulder and or back that often results from heavy lifting. Injuries caused as a result of lifting include sprains, strains, neural related, neuromuscular related injuries and bone-related injuries; each can affect any part of the body although the majority occurs on the lower back.
Because most jobs involve some form of lifting most workers are at risk of injury. Training employees on proper lifting procedures and techniques is critical in preventing painful and expensive injuries in the workplace. It takes a full understanding of potential hazards and habits needed to make good lifting decisions every time. Also implementing consistent coaching on safe lifting and handling techniques for employees whose jobs involve continuous lifting for an extended period of time on a day to day is beneficial in maintaining the proper skills required.
It is the employer’s responsibility for providing a safe workplace for their employees. Enforcing safe lifting practices and taking the time to listen and encourage employees to voice their concerns on any potential hazards that they may have spotted in their workplace can substantially reduce the chances of an injury.
Following are a few key steps of safe lifting and handling:
- Use pallet jacks and hand trucks to transport heavy items.
- Move items close to your body and use your legs when lifting an item from a low location
- Avoid twisting, especially when bending forward while lifting. Turn by moving the feet rather than twisting the torso
- Keep your elbows close to your body and keep the load as close to your body as possible
- Keep the vertical distance of lifts between mid-thigh and shoulder height. Do not start a lift below mid-thigh height nor end the lift above shoulder height. Lifting from below waist height puts stress on legs, knees, and back. Lifting above shoulder height puts stress on the upper back, shoulders, and arm
- Rotate tasks so employees are not exposed to the same activity for too long
- Take regular breaks and break tasks into shorter segments. This will give muscles adequate time to rest. Working through breaks increases the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), accidents, and reduces the quality of work because employees are over fatigued.
Strengthening muscles in the back and supporting muscles and maintaining proper posture will also help prevent injuries and back disorders. A list of five easy lower back stretches and workouts to increase back strength and prevent injury can be found on the NOVA website.
Nova Medical Centers provides the highest level of healthcare to patients suffering from musculoskeletal injuries. With a sole focus on occupational health, we pride ourselves in delivering exceptional services and helping our clients prioritize their health and safety needs. Contact us for more information about any of our services. Our skilled and friendly staff members are ready to meet all your occupational health needs.
Occupational healthcare refers to the branch of medicine that is dedicated to employee health, safety and welfare issues in the workplace. The aim of occupational healthcare is employee education, injury prevention and to return injured employees to work. Services include pre-employment screenings, work-related injury care, physical therapy, drug testing and more.
Occupational healthcare facilities reduce the high cost of obtaining work-related medical services compared to urgent care facilities by providing onsite or easy access to injury treatment. Nova Medical Centers specialize solely in occupational healthcare. As a result, Nova Centers are not open to the general public and only provide services to employers and their employees. This is a vital part of why Nova Medical Centers’ patients return to work faster, healthier and stronger with optimal results. With little to no wait times, patients are met with medical providers that receive specialized training and are dedicated to providing tailored medical solutions that are distinct to each injured employee’s working conditions.
With the importance of teamwork in mind, Nova Medical Centers offers real-time web-based communication through its proprietary electronic medical records system, Occuflex, which allows clients to remain up to date with injury treatment status and pre-employment testing results. Furthermore, through physician tele-triage, clients have access to licensed physicians 24/7 who can safely and effectively asses and recommend treatment direction for injured employees with a simple phone call. Patients recovering from work-related injuries are provided with free transportation to assist in returning them to optimal function in the shortest time possible. Last but not least, Nova Medical Centers’ physicians are experts in ADA, DOT, NIOSH, OSHA and state regulations that govern the occupational healthcare industry and work personally with employers to guide them through the required workers’ compensation claim paperwork.
At Nova Medical Centers we specialize in Occupational Health. From our outstanding services to our convenient electronic systems, we provide the best care for employees who need our help. We pride ourselves on helping others. Click here to read testimonials on our loyal clients and their experience. We have over 51 facilities across Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana and we are constantly striving to provide the best care for America’s workforce. Feel free to contact Nova Medical Centers with any questions or comments that you may have