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Nov 8, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Connected health: Using virtual reality to train nurses

Is this the end of tedious training courses for nursing staff? A new professional training system based on virtual reality has been tested by nurses in Rennes (France) in early October. The innovation looks promising and was enthusiastically received by the nurses who tested it.

On Friday 5th October, nurses tested a virtual reality system whose aim is to provide training for the nursing profession. The trials were carried out in the Eugène-Marquis centre in Rennes, reports Ouest-France. “I really believe in using virtual reality and video games for training,”  says Dr Vincent Dozhwal-Bagot, a public health doctor, who advocates using new technologies to train nursing staff. “Virtual reality immerses you in a situation, such as a patient’s room or an operating theatre, and allows you to practise by making mistakes so you can learn from them.”


A virtual patient’s room


Thanks to virtual reality, one of the nurses from the surgical department of the Eugène-Marquis cancer centre in Rennes was transported into a patient’s room, designed by Dr Dozhwal-Bagot in 3D. The aim of the game was to find ten things wrong in the room in less than 6 minutes, using a joystick that allowed the nurse to interact in and with the room.

The nurse, who never usually plays video games, quickly noticed the errors: the patient’s buzzer had fallen on the floor, a prescription mentioning an allergy had not been taken into account in the treatment, and the IT security had been infringed.


Enthusiastic reviews


The nurse managed to detect almost all of the anomalies in six minutes. She only missed one: a colleague using a smartphone. This is not recommended during working hours to avoid the risk of contamination.

“It’s a very useful learning tool,” she enthused. “You take an active role in your training. And I imagine that we can use it in loads of different situations.” Sylvie even says she would test it out again. A positive review was given by a large majority of the volunteers who tested the system.


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