Psychosocial environment Physical Environment Personal Health Practices


Funded in part by the
Government of Ontario

A New Take on Technology in the Workplace


Virtual World Avatars Take On  A Second Life

University Health Network – “Workbooks to Virtual Worlds”

Funding was awarded to the University Health Network to develop a nursing education program within a 3D virtual world called Second Life. Second Life is a safe and risk-free environment in which nurses create their own 3D personas, or avatars. Nurses then use their avatars to practice strategies for addressing horizontal violence and verbal abuse, reflect upon their actions, receive feedback and try new strategies in a safe and risk-free environment.

Dr. Claire Mallette, the project’s Principal Investigator, believes virtual worlds will become a preferred methodology to prepare health care staff to practice and experience other similar situations that are not feasible to replicate in real life.

“Successful implementation and evaluation of this teaching methodology will position University Health Network and the province as leaders in health care education.”