Simulation training, through the Staff Development department, provides Woodstock Hospital’s healthcare professionals opportunities to apply theory, gain experience, and practice skills and procedures without risking patient care. Simulation training allows staff to hone their skills in a safe, controlled environment that is conducive to learning, allowing them to build their confidence and competence to handle real-life situations, such as managing emergencies or resuscitation.
Last year, the Woodstock Hospital Foundation’s annual Charity Golf Tournament raised an outstanding $60,000 to enhance the simulation training available at the hospital. Thanks to this support, the Staff Development department can now offer staff at Woodstock Hospital an innovative and incomparable simulation training experience using cutting-edge Virtual Reality (VR) Goggles.
With traditional simulation training, there is often the need for expensive equipment such as a mannequins or task trainers, as well as a large physical space and instructors/ facilitators. Because VR training does not require a fixed classroom location, time, or a facilitator, staff have the flexibility to carry out their learning when and where they need. All that is required for staff to receive training with VR technology, are the goggles, handsets, and an approximate one meter square space.
“The purchase of the VR Googles has not only expanded our capacity to provide simulation training to staff, this equipment has allowed our hospital to become a trailblazer amongst others in Ontario,” says Chuan Yong, Director of the hospital’s Staff Development department.
The hospital’s partnership with Health Scholars has allowed for the performance of mandatory training with Operating Room (OR) staff on how to manage fires in the OR. In the fall, the hospital expanded access to the VR Goggles to the Critical Care Unit, Emergency Department, and Maternal Child/Women’s Health nursing staff, increasing capacity to offer competency training in various high stress and complex clinical events, as VR training offers the ability to recreate a wide variety of clinical environments and tasks. As more virtual scenarios are built, Woodstock Hospital will continue to look for opportunities to extend the use of VR training to nurses and allied health professionals working in other areas of the hospital.
“We are so grateful to donors and those who supported the purchase of this cutting-edge equipment,” says Yong. “We look forward to utilizing the VR Goggles for staff development, in support of the continued delivery of high-quality and safe patient-centered care.”