Introducing VR training
Sterile work environments pose a particular challenge to traditional training methods. Physical hands-on access is, by the nature of the environment, limited by location and logistics. As a component that is applicable to multiple work disciplines, such as healthcare and food processing, providing scalable and repeatable training to meet market demand is an essential consideration.
In contrast to other training scenarios that often help participants learn to work safely in potentially dangerous environments, maintaining a sterile environment has wider consequences on public health with invisible risks through contamination and breaking the sterile integrity. Students must closely follow processes and procedures sequentially, relative to the task at hand.
The course developers began evaluating Virtual Reality as a training tool that could both address the physical constraints of the training and provide actionable insights to help guide students. By deploying VR, students could be immersed in a sterile environment, interacting with industrial equipment and practise sequential steps to maintain the integrity of the environment. Where providing access to physical training environments was difficult, through low-cost and readily available VR headsets, students could access VR training from anywhere.
In order to closely reflect real-world environments, the VR training scenario would need to provide accurate models of industrial equipment that participants would use to clean and prepare instruments. The equipment is used together in a series of steps - moving from one to another to complete the sterilisation process. At each step of the process, applying the correct protective clothing and washing hands is vital to maintain the integrity of the environment.
YA turned to Gleechi and VirtualGrasp™ technology that would allow participants to interact naturally with the virtual environment. Through enabling natural hand interaction with tools and equipment, the participants can perform complex procedures and better apply the learned skills to the real-world.
As a sequential process, participants practice applying PPE correctly, washing hands, preparing instruments and using sterile equipment.
An important detail in the sterilisation process is using a handheld barcode. The virtual barcode scanner should correctly itemise objects and allow the participants to run through a checklist to ensure the correct order and procedures are followed.
Delivering the solution
The VR training scenario needed to address all aspects of a sterile environment - putting on PPE, washing hands, using equipment and handling instruments. Together with YA, Gleechi built a comprehensive virtual environment that allows participants to practice all disciplines.
In order to complete the training, the virtual equipment closely reflects a real-world experience - complete with the same details and operational procedures. The participant must correctly operate and maintain the equipment in order to advance through the training process.
The participant can choose to either practice with guidance or complete the training without help. Guidance is delivered through the Gleechi pedagogical components, providing visual cues to help the participant become comfortable with the environment.
VirtualGrasp technology is used to enable participants to handle instruments naturally, sterilising them and handling them in the appropriate way.
“The Gleechi VR training platform makes it possible for students to develop hands-on skills, without the practical limitations and constraints of having to provide access to physical equipment.”
Cecilia Söderberg, YrkesAkademin