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Using virtual reality to improve ED stroke care

Emergency department nurses across NSW will gain valuable real-time experience with stroke care thanks to a new virtual reality (VR) training program being rolled out across the state. 

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park officially launched the program at Royal North Shore Hospital with a demonstration of the immersive training by stroke clinical nurse consultant Sheila Jala.

“Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency. Fast response and treatment times are vital to save lives and improve recovery,” Mr Park said. 

“By simulating a real-time scenario, this training will give emergency nurses practise in how to handle those first critical minutes.

The VR stroke training program is a collaboration between the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the University of Newcastle Centre for Advanced Training Systems.

NSW Health Deputy Secretary Clinical Innovation and Research and Chief Executive, Agency for Clinical Innovation, Dr Jean-Frédéric Levesque, said the VR training is another innovative way the public health system is using technology to improve patient care.

“VR training gives patients and clinicians access to best-practice stroke care, especially in regional areas where a local hospital does not receive the same volume of stroke patients as its city counterparts,” Dr Levesque said.

Nurses at RNSH have already started using the VR technology as part of their ongoing education.

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