The Effects of Gaming on Learning

Jan 23/15

The Effects of Gaming on Learning

I had never thought of video games as a source of learning my nursing skills.  I trained in a hospital based nursing school 30 years ago when the internet didn’t even exist yet and everything was learned by rote repetition or practice on a patient.   Ouch!

I have spoken to many nursing instructors who now use lab simulations to help the students to treat patients for any number of illnesses or life threatening conditions in a non-threatening and safe environment.    At first I was skeptical but I have come to see the value in this.

Confidence is built without practicing on some poor soul who isn’t feeling very good anyways.

Skill is developed without causing pain on anyone.

Procedures can be mastered by practicing in an enjoyable way without an instructor hanging over your back.

Scenarios can be replayed over & over until the learner understands concepts and has develop the required skills.

I was sitting here thinking that if hospitals developed video games that had the same set up as their emergency rooms staff could play games and learn where supplies are kept – in the ER it is often quick responses that can save a life and running about trying to find something or digging through a ‘crash cart’ for the equipment to manage a code blue situation can waste valuable time.

I am not an ER nurse, I have passed the age of wanting the excitement of life threatening scenarios.  I work in the community as an RN – in my job I am on my own in people’s homes and often when doing assessments I need to have the background knowledge of many chronic disease processes as well as knowledge and assessment skills for more acute situations.  I need to know the resources that are available in the community to help patients manage their care needs.  I need to be able to speak professionally to many other health care professionals and as a Case Manager I often take the lead role in Patient Care Conferences.  I need to be able to determine when someone can no longer be managed at home but needs an admission to acute care (our mandate or goal is to keep people out of acute care and care for them safely at home).

So why am I babbling on & on?  I think it would be great to have a game that would give you a set of symptoms and guide you in determining what is going on.  Is it heart failure, is it dementia or delirium?  Is it fatigue from some acute process or is it anemia & if it is anemia what would the possible causes be?

I would play that game any day!

Maybe games like these actually exist, I’ve never really looked.

So I spent some time on Google today and found this great site – I have to take time to dig deeper and play games that will benefit me in my work in a community setting but it looks promising.

http://www.learningnurse.org/index.php/assessment/games

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