Nurses and virtual reality​

Nurses and virtual reality​

Posted on November 20, 2019
Virtual reality is a simulated experience, similar or different than the real world, that can be used in healthcare and other settings. Normally, the user wears a headset in which a screen and speakers are embedded. 
 
Nurses, who are always at the frontline of patient care, are also at the frontline of healthcare innovation, as there are cases of hospitals in which palliative care nurses have been using virtual reality technology as a tool to distract their patients and thus better manage their chronic pain and anxiety. It is also an aid to assist relaxation and breathing. 
 
In this context, virtual reality technology is not being used as a cure but as part of the treatment for patients with chronic conditions. This technology is assisting nurses´ with their workload, decreasing it and making it more manageable. 
 
Virtual reality, however, was already used in healthcare settings – mainly for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and sometimes as a treatment for vertigo. 
 
Other instances in which nurses have driven innovation are electronic health records and their fit-for-purpose implementation across the EU´s healthcare systems. For that reason, the EFN is actively co-designing two new systems of Electronic Health Records currently being developed, namely InteropEHRate and Smart4Health.