CLARKSTON, Ga.—The room was open — no doors were locked. Even so, it would take five nursing students almost an hour to figure out clues that would allow them to save their patient and “leave the room.”
Modeled after a popular game in which participants must figure out clues to get out of a locked room, the nursing “escape” room was a simulation developed by Perimeter College nursing instructor Valencia Freeman to help students think critically about a patient’s situation.
“I wanted to provide the students with a creative method to apply the nursing process in resolving a clinical issue,” she said. “The design encourages students to critically think as a team to ‘escape the room’ and save the ‘client’ from impending death.”
Groups of second-year nursing students, including LPN-to RN Bridge students, met at the Clarkston Campus simulation lab for the clinical exercise over the summer.
Challenges posed to the students (in addition to the clues) included a family member who was confused and belligerent, an incorrect prescription by the doctor, and a “patient” (nursing instructor Freeman) who was constantly moaning and asking if she was “going to heaven.”
“The learning objectives from this activity included demonstration of performing a focused clinical assessment, recognizing signs and symptoms associated with medication error, effectively using the SBAR communication tool (Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) to collaborate with a physician, and providing safe client care,” she said.
Students were watched by other faculty members as they worked through the clues.
During the exercise, Freeman encouraged the students to talk to the patient and recognize changes in physical symptoms during the course of their 12-hour shifts.
“I thought the exercise was very helpful and a unique way to break down a patient care, critical thinking exercise,” said Rachel Kirby, a second-year nursing student participating in the exercise.
“Making the scenario like an escape room allowed each step to be broken down, and made you figure out each step of the process before moving on to the next. It allowed you to use the nursing process to critically think and figure out how to help your patient in a systematic fashion,” she said.