Sask. use virtual reality technology to facilitate the hiring of paramedics

The new immersive technology will allow Saskatchewan to evaluate internationally trained paramedics from anywhere in the world.

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For internationally trained paramedics, jumping through the circles needed to get a license to practice in Saskatchewan can be time consuming and costly.

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However, new virtual reality technology may soon help provide security to paramedics who want to move to the province they are likely to get a job for when they arrive.

“Right now, the challenge for internationally trained applicants is that they have to come to Canada before they know if they are candidates or not eligible for licenses,” said Jacquie Messer-Lepage, executive director of the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics ( SCoP).

“We are building technology to assess all inputs to the practice of paramedic skills, so we are looking at the current competencies we use to assess a graduate and we are building the technology to support that assessment.”

With the help of $ 800,000 in federal government funding, SCoP is partnering with Saskatoon-based company Luxsonic Technologies to develop a set of immersive technologies that can be used to assess the skills of paramedics around the world. The technology will include virtual reality, 360-degree video and interactive video.

Messer-Lepage said SCoP will be able to send a virtual reality headset to anyone interested in becoming a paramedic in Saskatchewan. With the headset, they will experience different scenarios, make decisions, and perform medical techniques.

Their experiences will be captured on an online portal that SCoP can access to view their experiences or, for those without an Internet connection, the scenarios can also be recorded on the same headphones.

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Jacquie Messer-Lepage, executive director of the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics, wears virtual headphones and hand controls on Friday, July 23, 2021 in Regina.
Jacquie Messer-Lepage, executive director of the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics, wears virtual headphones and hand controls on Friday, July 23, 2021 in Regina. Photo of TROY FLEECE /Queen Leader-Post

“We will be able to see their experience and what they have done, and we will be able to determine whether or not they are at a level of competence where we would consider licensing them,” Messer-Lepage said.

Anyone interested in becoming a licensed paramedic in the province will have to go through the required practicum once they arrive, but Messer-Lepage called it a “preview” that would give people the chance to receive or not the chance to receive. to Receive a Saskatchewan License |

He also hopes this layer of insurance will encourage more paramedics to consider moving to Saskatchewan, aiding in recruitment efforts.

“We would definitely like to get more paramedics in this province,” he said.

“Coming to Saskatchewan for a lot of paramedics isn’t really what they want to do … but there are a lot of people who want to come to Canada and I think if we build it, that would offer the potential for people to want to come here because it’s a good point entry into this country ”.

The project is expected to be completed in June 2023, although Messer-Lepage said some parts of the technology would already be integrated into practice before then. Upon completion, it anticipates that the immersive technology will be picked up by other provinces in the country.

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