Escape rooms sprang to international fanfare in the early 2000s. These activities are based upon the principles of team dynamics as teams work to solve puzzles, accomplish tasks, and discover clues…seeking to escape their circumstances, save the day and beat the clock (Nicholson, 2015). These types of “live-action” activities have been integrated into nursing schools, professional nursing conferences, and nursing work environments in recent years.
Nurse educators at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia used the concepts of an “escape room” to improve nursing and other healthcare professionals’ knowledge about sepsis. Approximately 270,000 patients die every year as a result of sepsis, and the nursing educators used the escape room to highlight sepsis care from an interdisciplinary perspective for World Sepsis Day in 2017 (Clark, 2019).
Sigma Theta Tau International also recently hosted two escape rooms during their biennium convention in Washington D.C. in the fall of 2019. These two escape rooms were sponsored by Old Dominion University School of Nursing and the Epsilon Chi Chapter. These escape rooms were interactive, bringing together chapter members from all over the world. Participants worked to beat a “techno-virus,” which threatened all electronic medical records. Sigma reported over 130 nursing participants in their escape rooms (Sigma, 2019)…which I am sorry to say that my team did not escape from!
You and your peers have been tasked with saving Thelma. This is going to require teamwork and good communication. You will work through the nursing process while solving puzzles and riddles. Feel free to look around the room, but you must stay within the boundaries of your room until you save Thelma, or run out of time! Please do not use any force with the equipment, locks, boxes, or Thelma. You will be successful in your “Escape from nursing school” when all ordered medications have been safely administered. You are racing the clock! Use the buzzer on top of the IV pump to indicate successful completion. Good luck! May the care be ever in your favor!
Oh, the days of nursing school and being locked in a safe place. However, now is the time you must work to escape! You have 30 minutes to save the patient, or you will be trapped in nursing school forever!
Situation: Your patient is Thelma Bogtrotter, a 78-year-old female who arrived in the ED 30 minutes ago via a local ambulance service. The patient’s daughter reported finding Thelma confused and disoriented, with a fever of 102 F. She notes that her mother was combative and refusing assistance so, she decided to call 9-1-1. In route, the paramedics started two 20g IVs, and administered a 500cc bolus of normal saline.
Thelma’s EMS vital signs:
BP – 72/18
HR – 118
R – 22
T – 102 F
SpO2 – 93% RA
Upon arrival, her BP was assessed to be 62/40, with a HR 120. The ER physician has seen the patient and placed orders.
Background: 78-year-old female patient with a history of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and major depression. She was discharged from a skilled nursing facility one week ago, where she had been for rehabilitation following a right great toe amputation due to a diabetic foot ulcer. She recently finished a 14-day course of Augmentin.
Metformin 850 mg BID
Lisinopril 20 mg daily
Metoprolol 10 mg daily
Simvastatin 40 mg nightly
Zoloft 50 mg daily
Ambien 10 mg nightly prn sleep
Allergies – No known allergies
Code status – Full Code