New Approaches to Infection Control: Virtual Gaming
Start date: 11 June 2009
Publisher: Royal College of Nursing/ Partners in Practice
Place of Publication: Glasgow, Scotland
In the contemporary world of healthcare there remain global issues concerning infection control and prevention measures. In the United Kingdom, the Department of Health have focused on a number of initiatives which provide guidance on reducing health care associated infections (DoH 2003,2006,2008). Further, the Nursing and Midwifery professional body (NMC 2007) have issued essential skills statements to support pre registration nurse education. Proficiency in these essential skills must be attained by all pre registration student nurses prior to registration. Infection control is just one of these essential skills.
The use of serious games that involve computer simulation has been seen to accelerate learning and increase motivation (de Freitas and Jarvis 2006 cited Pulman and Shufflebottom 2008). A serious game was developed that enables the student to participate in a virtual infection control simulation. The main focus of the simulation is to describe the standard precautions required for a patient being nursed in isolation for possible Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and to identify the roles and responsibilities of the health care team in relation to an infection control issue. It is intended to incorporate the package as part of a blended learning approach into the pre registration nursing programme.
A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the experience of using the game with third year pre registration student nurses. Of the 24 respondents 83% enjoyed using the package, 91% felt it was an interesting way to teach infection control, and 87% stated that it helped them link theory to practice.
This submission will introduce the concept of serious gaming as a learning resource. Describe its use within the pre registration nursing programme and discuss the results of a pilot study into the experience of student nurses using the package.