Boston Children's Hospital's Cardiovascular Operating Room (CVOR) wanted to expand its capacity to train new surgical scrub personnel through simulation. After reviewing the adult modules in PeriopSim, they saw the value of the approach—scrub trainees could memorize instruments and learn procedures without burdening instructors, OR space, or equipment.
In a project funded by the Benderson Family Heart Center, CVOR nursing teamed up with Immersive Design Systems (IDS, BCH) and Conquer Experience to produce a series of pediatric heart surgery modules. Rod McArdle, MSN, RN, CNOR, and Jeffrey Jacobson, Ph.D., (Immersive Design Systems, BCH) co-led the project, with clinical review provided by Claire Burke, RN, BSN, CNOR. Working with Conquer Experience, they produced the first-ever pediatric cardiac surgical scrub training modules, now available through PeriopSim, named On/Off Bypass, Arterial Switch, Bidirectional Glenn, Cone Repair, Extracardiac Fenestrated Fontan, Stage One, Tetralogy of Fallot, and VSD.
Claire Burke, the current Clinical Coordinator of the CVOR, has incorporated the new pediatric modules in training nurses to the circulator and surgical scrub roles. They focus on the On Bypass and Off Bypass modules which encompass the beginning and end of every heart surgery. This is part of the Tiered Skills Acquisition Model (TSAM) model, which ensures that they master each component skill before progressing to the next group of competencies. They practice with actual instruments, memorize their names through flashcards, take mini quizzes, observe surgeries, and participate in lectures/discussions.
In short, the project has been a success. Circulator and surgical scrub trainees gain valuable skills in quiet self-directed study with the iPad (and later) the VR headset. Moreover, the VR gives them a way to get practice certain spatial cognitive skills, previously only available in impractically expensive physical simulations or in real live surgery.