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Patient Safety Congress: Nurses taught infection control with video game

A video game that can be used to train staff and monitor attitudes towards infection control is to be piloted at a UK trust.

The interactive game is designed around a nurse going about their everyday tasks using best infection control practices.

Staff are tested on hand hygiene, linen disposal and commode use. Points are gained for poor practice and the aim is to achieve as low a score as possible.

The game gives instant feedback and staff can return to the game to try and improve their score.

Carol Hallam, lead infection control nurse at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust in Yorkshire, where the game is being piloted, said:

‘Traditional [training] methods are time consuming and it is often difficult for staff to get off wards to attend sessions. There is also no evidence to show that these methods change the attitudes and behaviours of staff.

‘Attitude is a key factor in how staff perform in relation to infection control, and there is evidence to suggest that video games can change attitudes. If we are to have sustainable changes we need to start by changing bad habits,’ she added.

The trials are due to begin at the end of the year.


Readers' comments (2)

  • What a ridiculous notion that a computer game can instill better hand hygiene into nurses; its about time that infection control nurses recognise that thier job role is largely common sense and if we had effective ward managers it would be negate the need to pay for a band 6+ to inform people to move patients into a side room when they aquire an infection. If nurses cannot be persuaded to adopt good infection control practices then we should possibly be looking at education levels as a whole within nursing!?

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  • I feel that the previous respondent has missed the point. Any way we can get the message over has to be good. As for paying band 6 + infection control nurses for such a limited role I think the author needs to read an infection control job description and spend a day with one to gain insight into the role!

    I am posting this during a rare working lunch break at my desk.

    Ken Topliss
    Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

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