Virtual reality simulation helps train OR nurses in Horizon hospitals

This initiative is one example of Horizon is providing New Brunswickers accessible and quality health care and a positive patient experience, as well as valuable professional development opportunities to help recruit and retain health care professionals

(HORIZON) – Virtual reality simulators have been rolled out across four regional Horizon hospitals, allowing for new innovative ways to help with operating room (OR) training and assessment of nurses.

Using PeriopSim technology, developed by Conquer Experience Inc., Horizon is using advanced, state-of-the-art technology to accelerate training for OR nurses and better prepare them for surgical nursing by ensuring they have expertise in the field before they begin in the OR.

Using simulated surgeries, nurses will practice instrument recognition, steps of a procedure, anticipation, passing techniques and more before stepping into a live surgery. Managers, educators, and nurses can log in to the software to review performance details and assessment results of simulations.

“Using virtual reality simulations as training will allow our nursing staff to train on a variety of surgeries and ensure competency before they step into the OR room,” said Amy McCavour, executive regional director and co-lead of Horizon Surgical Services and Intensive Care. “This will significantly optimize training time for nurses and allow them to feel more confident prior to working in the OR environment, helping ensure the delivery of safe and quality care to our patients.”

Educators have been trained, and staff are already using the technology in four regional Horizon hospitals: The Moncton Hospital, Saint John Regional Hospital, Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton, and Miramichi Regional Hospital.

The technology offers simulation of several surgeries and instrument sets, including:

  • General Surgery: Hernia repair and Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder removal);
  • Neurosurgery: Burr Hole (Relieve intracranial pressure) and Craniotomy; and;
  • Orthopedic surgery: Fractured hip surgery and joint replacement.

“This new training opportunity is just one example of how we’re improving the overall patient experience,” said Greg Doiron, Vice President Clinical Operations. “When our nurses feel more confident going into the OR room, our patients feel more relaxed and at ease because they know the nurses caring for them are well trained.”

The new training software will also aid in recruiting and retaining surgical nurses.

“We are thrilled to help Horizon in accelerating the training and proficiency improvement of OR nurses by using PeriopSim, our latest simulation technology platform,” said Angela Robert, CEO, Co-Founder and Director of Conquer Experience Inc. “Surgeons have had simulators for many years, and this is a first for OR nurses. Having access to this technology will empower nurses to embark on their OR careers with proficiency and confidence, ultimately benefiting both staff and patients.”

About Horizon Health Network

Horizon is committed to improving access to care, with a focus on access to surgery, addiction and mental health and primary care for New Brunswickers. Horizon’s plan to ensure all New Brunswickers receive the quality care they need consists of three other priorities, including the retention and recruitment of physicians, nurses and staff; improving overall patient experience; and improving patient flow at our health care facilities. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at

About Conquer Experience

Conquer Experience is a Canadian start-up incubated in the Health and Technology District in Surrey, BC. The PeriopSim platform has had investment from programs that support Canadian Innovation, including Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Mitacs, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), CanExport, as well as hospital foundations such as QEII Foundation to build and validate the PeriopSim platform.


For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations