12 May 2021

Virtual reality training is being rolled out across the South West Hospital and Health Service,
starting with Roma and then progressively to all other health facilities.
The specialised virtual reality headsets have arrived in Roma to facilitate the training and a twoyear plan to embed virtual reality in medical and nursing training is being developed.
South West HHS Nurse Director Education Leanne Raatz said the health services was one of
the first in Queensland to introduce VR training in a healthcare setting.
She said a range of skills-based training modules were being developed for doctors and nurses.
“We are also looking at utilising virtual reality for administrative and other roles,’’ she said.
“For instance, we have access to components already developed that offers a situation on how
to manage challenging conversations.
“Participants in the course will be able to engage in a challenging conversation in a VR
environment and provided with feedback on how they performed.’’
Ms Raatz said virtual reality training offered the ability to transport users to realistic but riskreduced work scenarios.
“Staff can learn the skills and procedures attached to a role whilst also being actively engaged
in the learning process through a virtual environment relevant to their subject matter,’’ she said.
“In a VR setting, staff can interact with what they see as if they were really there.
“In addition to providing staff with immersive learning experiences, other benefits of virtual
reality in education include the ability to inspire staffs’ creativity and spark their imaginations.
“VR is going to be a game-changer for staff training in the South West, just as it is proving to be
nationally and internationally.
“You don’t have to fly out a trainer or coach, or transport participants to a central location, it
allows more participants to attend, it doesn’t require classroom costs and there’s less time away
from work.
“It offers a cost-effective use of resources, especially for clinicians in rural and remote areas.’’
Ms Raatz said the training programs were being supported for the health service by virtual
reality training provider Bundle of Rays. Bundle of Rays principal Brad Chesnam developed the concept of virtual reality training for
health professionals from a background of experience as a nurse in busy Australian and British
hospitals, as well as service as a battlefield nurse in Afghanistan and Iraq.