Medical students enhance training - in King's Mill Hospital 'escape room'

Medical students put their skills to the test – by being locked in a Sutton hospital’s ‘escape room’.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 11:08 am

The Nottingham University fourth-year medical students have been using the ‘escape room’ at King’s Mill Hospital to learn about healthcare in older patients.

The room models a busy ward and the students have to complete a series of tasks within a certain time to ‘escape’.

Teams of students are given 45 minutes to complete tasks they would encounter on an elderly care ward, such as relatives calling for updates, patients asking for help and treating patients who are confused and unsure of their surroundings – against a backdrop of dramatic music and a countdown timer on the wall.

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Students assess a 'patient' against the clock.

Lorraine Brooks, a medical education nurse who developed the room, said: “We know escape rooms are popular for social activities so we came up with a way to incorporate it into our teaching methods.

“It adds something a little bit different to learning and is becoming an incredibly effective way of teaching our students as they all remember it and talk about what they have learned.

“It provides them with a lifelike situation they could face with on our wards. We have had a lot of positive feedback about it and will continue to develop it into our teaching methods.”

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Staff monitor the exercise from the control assessment room.

Assessed

The room has cameras, which assessors use to watch and assess the students from a control room, throwing in different scenarios via a PA system, depending on how the students are performing.

And in order to crack the code to get out, the students have various puzzles to complete, each one relating to their patients.

The students then attend a debrief session at the end to reflect on their experience and discuss what they have learned.

Students in the escape room assess their 'patients'.

Nick Miller, one of the students who took part in one of the latest simulations, said: “It was really challenging, but helped put everything I have been learning into practice.”

Fellow student Charlie Bailie said: “It was a proper puzzle and something different. It’s a great way of learning and I would definitely do it again.”

And student Nagozim Mathieson, who completed their team of three, said: “It’s certainly a more accurate way of learning and is more realistic. It is a great way to get us all multitasking and working together.”

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Students check their 'patients' are okay, halfway through the exercise.
Students work to figure out the code to escape.
Medical students, from left, Charlie Bailie, Nick Miller and Nagozim Mathieson celebrate their escape.