Use of 360° Video for a Virtual Operating Theatre Orientation for Medical Students

J Surg Educ. 2020 Aug 26;S1931-7204(20)30311-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.08.014. Online ahead of print.


Background: Operating theatres are a unique learning environment that some learners find daunting. By employing orientations some of these fears can be reduced but these require operating theatre space and personnel and are not standardized.

Methods: We utilized a 360° camera to generate a "virtual" 360° video orientation. It was filmed in first-person perspective to improve engagement and to make it more experiential.

Evaluation: It was shown to 34 medical students in a tutorial setting before their first operating theatre experience. We analyzed their knowledge gain with use of a questionnaire and change in self-reported confidence using a 7-point Likert scale. The students' knowledge improved from 38.4% to 78.2% (p < 0.01) as well as self-reported confidence from 4.3 to 6.1 (p < 0.01).

Discussion: The use of 360° video for a virtual operating theatre orientation improved knowledge and confidence of learners which suggests its expanded use in medical education.

Keywords: 360° video; medical student; operating theatre; virtual reality.