Nurses are training like never before in the Metaverse

Virtual patients allow nurses to practice skills

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Connecticut’s Stamford Health launched a new program with Oxford Medical Simulation on Jan. 25, allowing nurses to train their skills on virtual patients with simulated medical conditions through the Metaverse. According to Stanford Advocate, it is the first health center within the state to use the virtual reality program.

“Ultimately, using the soft skills and the communication and practicing that assessment, we believe it’s going to have a positive impact on our patients,” Stamford Health Center simulation and learning manager Michelle Saglimbene told Stanford Advocate. “If a patient were to come into the Metaverse hospital and the scenario is related to a patient experiencing chest pains, the software will actually track the nurses’ clinical skills in terms of putting the patient on a cardiac monitor and speaking to the doctor about the chest pains and possibly requesting an electrocardiogram.”

The Metaverse program allows nurses to complete head-to-toe assessments and practice patient care skills, a practice that Stamford Health’s executive director of research Suzanne J. Rose said is empowering nurses in need of bedside experience.

“We are giving them an extra boost on clinical experience that they missed out on,” Rose said. “They [can] experience a situation in the virtual world that they might not have been able to see because they didn’t have that bedside experience that they would have had if COVID didn’t happen.”

From emulating Stamford Hospital rooms to allowing “multiplayer” modes, the program is being equipped with a number of unique features to meet each nurse-in-training’s needs.

“The options and flexibility for us to expand the program where multiple learners can enter one single scenario and practice communication and teamwork during emergencies is hopefully our next step,” Saglimbene said.

The Metaverse program launched with 11 nurses and 90 medical residents.