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”
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.
Game aims to prepare new nurses for life on the ward
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.