Board game puts medical staff through their paces in preparation for winter | Latest news

Board game puts medical staff through their paces in preparation for winter

Medical staff at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are being given the chance to put their emergency medicine knowledge and skills to the test in preparation for their busiest time of year.

Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Dr Patrick Tung, has created a board game which requires the ‘players’ to triage the patients and keep the flow of the department going whilst testing their knowledge of the Trust’s policies and procedures.

“Our ED departments are very busy and this increases in the winter months. Our teams have to be able to think on their feet, especially if they are dealing with life threatening injuries,” said Patrick. “By playing the game it gives them the opportunity to do this in an environment where they can take a more considered approach, in less stressful conditions.

“Three critically ill patients – one with stab wounds – a baby with a fever, an unconscious man who has been left in reception and a nurse who is stuck in traffic are probably an exaggeration of the number of emergencies which could happen on a typical shift, but it is making everyone think about how to keep the department flowing. Especially if you add to that patients who have suffered broken bones by falling on the ice or there is an outbreak of Norovirus, things which occur as we approach the colder months.”

Playing the game amongst the team has also had the effect of making the department run more efficiently. It has given everyone from HCAs to nurses and consultants the opportunity to fully understand each other’s roles, developing relationships and an appreciation and understanding of how, as a team, they can keep the department running smoothly.

“The ability for everyone, at every level, to learn and develop by taking part in this game is brilliant,” said Patrick, “I’m now getting requests from people who want to be part of it. There are also plans for it to play a valuable part in the Trust’s corporate induction of nurses.”

Lizzie Uttley is a final year medical student at Leeds University currently doing a four week placement in the Emergency Department at Dewsbury, she said: “This game is great. Normally it’s the nurses who triage the patients so by doing this it has really helped give me an understanding of the difficulties they can face when deciding on the level of the emergency and in which area of the department they should be.

“Although it’s busy and pressured I’m enjoying my A & E rotation, I like that you get to see a range of patients which really tests your medical knowledge.”

Patrick and his colleagues are hoping that by enabling more and more teams to play the game together it will help the Emergency Departments to run more effectively and efficiently particularly during the busier winter months.