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TAMU-CC students use augmented reality to learn about birthing process

Posted at 5:57 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-08 08:02:59-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Meet Victoria.

She can scream, blink, and deliver a baby just like an actual woman, but she’s a mannequin.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students are using Victoria, along with augmented reality goggles to learn about the delivery process.

The goggles allow students to see the birthing process inside the mother.

“It's kind of like the Metaverse oculus goggles, but once you put them on, you kind of get to see a little bit more of your surroundings than you see on an Oculus ,” TAMU-CC senior Nicolas Esquivel said.

Esquivel is preparing to graduate soon and said the goggles allow him to further his studies because they allow him to see birth complications from different angles.

“If there was any problems, you could actually firsthand see it — like what you would talk about, what you can see that’s on a baby, like you can see how it’s delivered, how the shoulders come through,” Esquivel said.

Kayla Blankenship, a student at TAMU-CC who is also almost complete with her studies, used the goggles for the first time on Wednesday.

“It’s like giving a baby with X-ray vision,” she said.

Blankenship used her fingers to point and select different functions that the goggles were showing her while instructors used a computer to watch what she was seeing.

“With the virtual, you can see where the placenta is and the way the baby’s rotating inside the mother,” Blankenship said.

TAMU-CC senior Ashlynn Lobrecht said she prefers to use hands-on experiences rather than studying with a book.

She said using the goggles allows her to be fully immersed in delivering a baby.

“I used to struggle in OB in the beginning of the class, but once I figured out how to use the goggles and seeing the inside of the mom and seeing how the baby is actually delivered, really helped me put everything together,” Lobrecht said.

She said she’s hoping to get into the women’s health field when she graduates from TAMU-CC and said the skills she’s learning through the goggles is helping her achieve her goals.

“I’m really hoping that I can use that to be the best nurse that I can be and help the mom and the family,” she said.

However, it’s not just students using the virtual augmented goggles.

TAMU-CC is partnering with Bay Area Women Services and Christus Spohn. They are using the mannequins and augmented reality goggles to train nurses during orientation.