It turns out, escape rooms are an effective educational tool for nurses and clinicians. During a recent training session, more than 80 nurses, physician assistants, nursing students, and various support staff members passed through one of two escape rooms that were set up in the Mira Conference Room on October 23, 2019 at Chester County Hospital to help participants refine their ability to assess patients and environments for falling risks.
"The hospital's Falls Task Force," which organized the event, "has been trying to find ways to make education fresh for the staff and give them opportunities to learn in a fun environment, rather than just giving them learning modules where they have to read something and take a test," says Cathy Weidman, Director of Medical-Surgical Services at the hospital and a co-chair of the Task Force. She also played the role of patient in one of the rooms.
The escape rooms were created by Kelsey Bunting, RN, BSN, and Cathryn Millares, RN, BSN, who first heard of the idea while attending an American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Conference.
"Aside from being a fun, interactive experience where everyone could participate, it also underlined the importance of communicating because the people who finished with the fastest times were the ones who communicated among their groups clearly and quickly," Millares says.
"At some point, people of all departments interact with patients, so they need to be aware that they can help prevent a fall as much as any nurse working the floor," she says. "On our Falls Task Force, we have pharmacists, the director of volunteers, we have people from all over the hospital because it takes all of us to keep a patient safe and keep them from falling."