IU Health using ‘escape room’ to train nurses

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This unique escape room requires quite a bit of medical knowledge.

First year nurses at IU Health raced against the clock Monday, hoping to gather clues from their ailing patient. The patient was just a dummy, but it was brought to life by humorous narration heard through speakers in the room, coming from an instructor talking behind mirrored glass.

“I think it’s going really well," said Danielle Ely, a Clinical Nurse Educator who helped develop the training. "They seem to really enjoy being out of the classroom and up and moving around."

The exercise was all part of a focus IU Health has put on hands on training. It was the second time they've used the escape room, where students use what they know to gather clues to unlock the door.

"The game atmosphere kind of reduces stress," Ely said. "So it seems they are able to enjoy themselves more as well."

The curriculum is based around quality and safety. The nurses had an hour to unlock the door. However, the instructors were thrilled when the first group finished in 36 minutes.

“That’s very good," Ely said with a smile. “That’s very fast”

The day was viewed as a success for those running the training, and also for those in it.

“It was really fun," first year nurse Maria Drake said. "It helped us work together.”

“I think when you’re doing things hands on it sticks in your head better than sitting in a classroom and learning," said another first year nurse, Morgen Nolan. "I think as a new nurse you have to do things in real life and this is just like it would be in a regular hospital with a real patient.”

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