VR simulation for nurses

Patient room in VR

Project Summary

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections people get at healthcare facilities while receiving medical care for another condition. A key driver of HAIs is inadequate infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. Many hospitals lack sufficient and regular IPC training programs for staff.

Working with Inception XR and leading healthcare partners, our team designed a VR training simulation to accelerate nurses’ knowledge acquisition of IPC protocols.

“One of the CDC’s core missions is to provide innovative and accessible IPC training for frontline healthcare workers to ensure safe healthcare.”

Using the VR simulation as an immersive learning and training tool, nurses can perform medical tasks in VR while being assessed on their ability to avoid the spread of contaminants. 

Client: Inception XR

Lead User Experience Designer

Scope: Discovery and concept, UX strategy and design, user journeys, storyboards, usability testing study

Figma, Adobe Creative Suite, Github, Unity, Meta Pro and Quest 2

The Experience

Screenshots from app

The first module focuses on placing an IV catheter into a virtual patient’s arm. The simulation tracks the user’s compliance with IPC protocol while performing the task in VR, including proper hand hygiene, changing gloves, and cleaning surfaces and medical equipment – all in a simulated hospital environment. 


The design work included considerations for complex interactions, including locomotion, controller inputs, virtual object manipulation, and consistent feedback for user actions. Our team considered the challenges of designing for users who had never used VR, providing clear instructions and visual cues to seamlessly guide the user through the simulation. 

The following were some of my contributions: 

  • Established a clear visual language and foundation for all UX documentation
  • Developed a scalable and adaptable VR interaction design system
  • Crafted user personas to pinpoint key usability challenges for target audience
  • Defined interactions with virtual objects
  • Designed overall application structure and user journey
  • Created comprehensive storyboards that acted as blueprints and guided development
  • Identified strategic placement and requirements for animations, UI elements, SFX, VFX, & VO
  • Optimized overall virtual layout to maximize user comfort
  • Developed content for instructions, feedback, and voice-overs 

Interactions design work included: 

  • Locomotion system (via teleportation and anchors)
  • Controller mapping (Quest 2 and Meta Pro)
  • Virtual hand poses 
  • Complex object interactions, including grabbing and manipulating virtual medical supplies (syringes, tourniquets, IV catheters, etc), virtually washing and drying hands, putting on/taking off virtual gloves, dropping and respawning objects, etc. 

Sample Documentation

Experience map

Sample storyboard

Sample storyboard

sample persona card

Sample persona