Business in Vancouver: Nursing shortages spurs former video game developers into action

New app and virtual reality help health authorities train up new nurses amidst shortages

In May of this year, B.C. Children’s Hospital closed two of its eight operating rooms due to nursing shortages.

Part of the problem stemmed from the amount of time it takes to train nurses and get them up to speed concerning various operating procedures. Nursing shortages have long caused headaches for health authorities, periodically sending them into a training frenzy to get numbers up to sufficient levels.

It’s estimated it can take six months to properly train a scrub nurse by gaining operating room skills through double scrubbing with an experienced nurse and rotating through each service, which can also be expensive. The Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia highlighted the strain on nurses, finding as many as 40% leave the profession within ten years, partially due to lack of mentoring stemming from nursing shortages.

Head back two years and Angela Robert, the CEO and founder of Conquer Mobile, a Surrey-based health tech company that specializes in medical education solutions, met with a few people on the cutting edge of integrating virtual reality into health care.

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