Submitted version of paper can be found here.
Abstract - Conventional training methods for nurses involve many physical factors that place limits on potential class sizes. Alternate training methods with lower physical requirements may support larger class sizes, but given the tactile quality of nurse training, are most appropriately applied to supplement the conventional methods. However, where the importance of physical factors are periphery, such alternate training methods can provide an important way to increase upper class-size limits and therefore the rate of trained nurses entering the important role of critical care. A major issue in ICU training is that the trainee can be released into a real-life intensive care scenario with sub optimal preparation and therefore a level of anxiety for the student concerned, and some risk for the management level nurses, as patient safety is paramount. This lack of preparation places a strain on the allocation of human and non-human resources to teaching, as students require greater levels of supervision. Such issues are a concern to ICU management, as they relate to nursing skill development and patient health outcomes, as nursing training is potentially dangerous for patients who are placed in the care of inexperienced staff. As a solution to this problem, we present a prototype ICU handover training environment that has been developed in a socially interactive virtual world. Nurses in training can connect remotely via the Internet to this environment and engage in collaborative ICU handover training classes.