The College of Nursing, Yorkton site, started using Remote Presence technology to deliver undergraduate nursing courses this September. Recently, the college held a contest asking local residents and surrounding communities to name the robot. After receiving an overwhelming number of entries, the winning name for the Yorkton robot is "Seymour,"Â as submitted by Carol Stringfellow.
"I chose the name because I thought it was applicable due to the fact that students from rural sites can actually 'see more' when they have the ability to visually connect with faculty at College of Nursing sites," said Stringfellow.
The robot stands five-and-half feet tall, with a flat-screen monitor mounted on top that displays the professor's face. An embedded camera transmits images of students or patients back to the professor.
"By using Remote Presence technology, nursing students enrolled in our undergraduate programs at our distributed sites also have access to faculty and mentors and the opportunity to obtain a first-class education without leaving their communities," said Lorna Butler, dean of the U of S College of Nursing.
"The robot is connected over broadband internet through local Wi-Fi service. It is accessed and operated remotely with a laptop and joystick, allowing a professor in Regina, Saskatoon or Prince Albert to move the robot around the room in Yorkton, for example," said Butler. "The technology allows faculty to engage with students at remote sites to teach and assess clinical competencies."
This project is an extension of the partnership between the U of S, Parkland College and Sunrise Health Region.
"This cutting edge technology makes it easier for nursing students in a smaller city like Yorkton to access top quality education," said Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit. "Remote presence technology is a great way to deliver health education and services in rural and remote communities."
"Currently, the robot is used to enhance instructional courses at Parkland College through clinical labs held at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre," said Suann Laurent, president and CEO for Sunrise Health Region. "We are also excited to use the robot, in the near future, to improve area residents' access to consultations with specialists located outside our region."
Learn more about this technology at: http://www.usask.ca/nursing/remote/index.php
For more information, contact:
College Relations Officer, College of Nursing
University of Saskatchewan