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Game aims to prepare new nurses for life on the ward

  • 18 Comments

Nurse trainers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust have developed a board game to teach students on placement and newly-qualified staff about “real-life scenarios”.

They have created a mini ward complete with rooms and a kitchen, along with devising Top Trump-style profiles for fictional ward staff, to go with it.

“While the game is a novel idea, there is a sound theory behind it”

Adrian Debney

Using a variety of real-life scenarios, the Ward Game challenges newly qualified staff and students to think “outside the box” on how they would handle certain situations, said those behind the initiative.

Practice development nurse Adrian Debney said the game was designed to help hone staff skills before they went to work on the wards.

He said: “While the game is a novel idea, there is a sound theory behind it. We know that staff develop more effective practice if they get a chance to analyse scenarios first and to look at all the ways a particular situation would play out.

“We talk through the decisions but by allowing them to make mistakes in a safe space we can develop their critical faculties, which will ultimately benefit patient safety,” he said.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

Game aims to prepare new nurses for life on the ward

Adrian Debney with his Ward Game

Mr Debney said he was inspired to create the game following a chance comment by an undergraduate who wanted to “take the roof off a ward” to see how it worked.

The game, which includes bays, side rooms and a kitchen, as well as a board detailing fictional patients, was created by a friend while the details of the staff profiles were suggested by colleagues.

Various scenarios developed from critical incidents, such as a norovirus outbreak or what to do when a discharged patient discovers they have left their keys at hospital, are posed to the players with an occasional joker also thrown in.

Mr Debney said: “Humour is an effective tool to encourage learning, since this promotes engagement and this is one of the aims with this game.

“This is the product of an idea bringing a lot of different professionals together and is really innovative,” he added.

  • 18 Comments

Readers' comments (18)

  • I despair.

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  • So do I. Roll on retirement.

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  • Why are people so negative about initiatives, albeit with a fun element? Anything that helps prepare newly qualified nurses prepare for ward life should be welcomed not dismissed. Maybe it is time you retired.

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  • dtbarron

    Why would anyone despair? We happily embrace simulation as a powerful learning tool, and there's a sound evidence base behind it - so what is so different here?

    Good innovation to support safe learning - may those that despair should be retiring if novel thinking/approaches beyond them to embrace. If you always do what you've always done etc etc

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  • katie  morrison

    Why despair?

    Why such negativity about an innovation and new approach?

    A great tool that is reactive to needs of the different generations of newly qualified nurses

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  • Reading the above 3 comments I despair even more.

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  • From where can I get this board game please?

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  • Marc Evans

    There is nothing at all wrong with this idea, I don't understand why there are negative comments about it. Doctors go through intense clinical scenarios during their training to prepare them for all possibilities and this should be the same for Nurses. Training should look at how to deal with things like respiratory arrest or a patient suddenly deteriorating and scoring a EWS of 6. These are some things that weren't covered during my training (even though it was only 8 years ago) but could have been really helpful as preparation for clinical practice.

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  • So much negativity in nursing.
    Any initiative with supporting staff and ultimately improving patient care in mind can only be a good thing right?

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  • michael stone

    Interesting comments.

    I'm not sure that anyone can actually sensibly opine about whether this game is helpful or not, without playing it.

    Surely the important question, is whether there is enough [paid] time devoted to what Marc Evans described as 'intense clinical scenarios during their training': do nurses have enough such preparatory experience before confronting these tricky situations for real ?

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