Think of a hospital-based board game and up until now there has only been Operation to enjoy (“he’s got my funny bone!”).
Now though a nurse from Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital is hoping his board game – or Ward Game – will proved not only enjlyable but also a useful teaching tool for staff at the hospital..
Practice development nurse Adrian Debney has been able to “take the roof” off a ward to help recently qualified staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to learn about management.
Using a variety of real-life scenarios, the game challenges newly qualified staff and students to literally think ‘outside the box’ on how they would handle certain situations.
With the help of friends, Mr Debney has created a mini ward complete with rooms and a kitchen along with devising Top Trump-style profiles for the fictional ward staff.
Mr Debney said the game is an engaging tool to help hone staff’s skills before they hit 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.”
Mr Debney 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 ward game, which includes bays, side rooms and kitchen along with a board detailing fictional patients, was created by a friend while the details of the staff profiles had been suggested by colleagues.
Various scenarios developed from critical incidents, such as what to do when a discharged patient discovers they have left their keys at hospital or a norovirus outbreak, are posed to the players with an occasional joker is 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.”