21 Dec 2023

Nursing in the virtual world

Virtual reality (VR) systems could be used to help trainee nurses develop their skills, a new study has found. Researchers developed three different immersive scenarios using the digital technology: safety self-awareness, patient assessment and interaction with patients. They measured the motivation and knowledge gain of participants and compared it to a traditional video lecture that delivered the same content. They also measured the usability and experience of the VR approach.

The study, published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, found that using VR could be just as effective in some areas as the lectures, and could be rolled out to boost learning in other areas. It’s hoped the research could help create more efficient training programmes for nurses which could be more cost-effective than traditional approaches and lead to more healthcare workers being trained.

The authors said: “This work is able to push the frontier of new nurse training practice in the entire healthcare industry. The new nurse training improvement will accelerate nurse school students’ learning pace, shorten the transition from new graduate to skilled nurse and potentially reduce staff turnover. Furthermore, the developed immersive VR platform will be able to sustain temporarily laid-off nurses’ basic skills and help them to find new job opportunities. In addition, the employed nurses could use this VR module to enhance their skills without spending extra learning time.”

Read the abstract and introduction.

CIEHF members can read the full article by logging into our website, clicking the Applied Ergonomics link on this page and then entering this as the URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687023001977

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