Virtual Reality simulators have been rolled out across four regional Horizon hospitals, allowing for new innovative ways to help with operating room (OR) training and assessment of nurses.

Using PeriopSim technology, developed by Conquer Experience Inc., Horizon is using advanced technology to accelerate training for OR nurses and better prepare them for surgical nursing by ensuring they have expertise in the field before they begin in the OR.

Using simulated surgeries, nurses will practice instrument recognition, steps of a procedure, anticipation, passing techniques and more before stepping into a live surgery. Managers, educators, and nurses can log in to the software to review performance details and assessment results of simulations.

“Using virtual reality simulations as training will allow our nursing staff to train on a variety of surgeries and ensure competency before they step into the OR room,” said Amy McCavour, executive regional director and co-lead of Horizon Surgical Services and Intensive Care. “This will significantly optimize training time for nurses and allow them to feel more confident prior to working in the OR environment, helping ensure the delivery of safe and quality care to our patients.”

Educators have been trained, and staff are already using the technology in four regional Horizon hospitals: The Moncton Hospital, Saint John Regional Hospital, Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton, and Miramichi Regional Hospital.

The technology offers simulation of several surgeries and instrument sets, including: General Surgery: Hernia repair and Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder removal); Neurosurgery: Burr Hole (Relieve intracranial pressure) and Craniotomy; and; Orthopedic surgery: Fractured hip surgery and joint replacement.

The new training software will also aid in recruiting and retaining surgical nurses.

“Surgeons have had simulators for many years, and this is a first for OR nurses,” said Angela Robert, CEO, Co-Founder and Director of Conquer Experience Inc. “Having access to this technology will empower nurses to embark on their OR careers with proficiency and confidence, ultimately benefiting both staff and patients.”