Virtual Learning, Educational Games Help to Educate Nurses at Madison VA - VHA SimLEARN
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Virtual Learning, Educational Games Help to Educate Nurses at Madison VA

By Jonathan Karlen, BSN, RN
Simulation Coordinator
and Amanda Westlake, BSN, RN
Nursing Education Coordinator/Instructor
William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

MADISON, Wisc. – The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin is currently utilizing two game-based learning applications from the VHA Employee Education System in its nurse residency and charge nurse programs.

The game-based learning system called MedSurg assists nurses in developing awareness and appreciation of a deteriorating patient’s condition while acquiring the necessary diagnostic knowledge and skills to identify the patient’s worsening condition in a timely manner to prevent a medical emergency code. Charge Nurse is an application designed to provide professional medical and health care providers needed iterative leadership, management, administrative, educational and clinical skills training intended to improve the novice and expert charge nurses’ efficiency and effectiveness.

These educational games have also been utilized for video capture of staff skills that patient care staff can use as references. The video captures include pump infusions, as well as defibrillator use and log on tips for advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) and basic life support (BLS) completions. This video format allows for policy to be condensed into easily viewed 3- to 5-minute-long content. In addition to gaming apps, the Madison VA embarked on a journey of virtual reality (VR) goggles for clinical simulations. The simulations from Oxford Medical Simulations utilize the Oculus Rift S goggle system. This system allows for the student to wear the VR goggles and simultaneously allows a classroom to view and hear what they are doing on a projector system. This allows a classroom to interact and give feedback as the simulation is occurring. Simulations are available for both medical and nursing scenarios.

The Madison VA also created an Interactive Crash Cart Module which was deployed to the local sharepoint. The module includes reviews of crash cart drawers, defibrillator videos and an overview of the cardiac arrest code sheet. An inventory of the crash cart has also been replicated in the national crash cart game. Please access Crash Cart in the VA Talent Management System TMS VA 29035 (Open in Chrome), or search the Apple Store for the VHA Crash Cart application.

The use of clinical skills for virtual learning was expanded throughout the facility. The learning management side of the application is housing initial and annual unit-based competencies; Nurse Core Orientation (NCO) videos, tests, skills checklists and lessons; hospital-wide medication competencies; facility-produced training videos on practice changes and critical equipment use; and new product training at the point of use. Screen videos made with PowerPoint and Adobe Captivate have been added to the virtual learning worlds of clinical skills and VA’s Talent Management System (TMS) to enhance interactive adult learning. Other software is being utilized to create fillable tests, learning exercises, surveys and risk assessments while reducing paper costs and waste.

Clinical teams work with education staff to create interactive escape room scenarios where team members must overcome both cognitive and physical challenges relating to the services they provide to our patients. This has helped reinforce the skills necessary for the competencies within the unit, while providing an interactive, enjoyable team-building experience. These escape rooms include such challenges as opening locked containers with codes derived from fictitious patient information logs and room numbers where clinical equipment is located. The escape room games require communication, attention to detail, leadership and teamwork for successful completion which has been beneficial to our Facility Leadership Development Program (FLDP), Emerging Leader Academy (ELA) and the new house supervisor cohort.

Local online content was created by utilizing Adobe Captivate. Adobe Captivate permits the Madison VA to author eLearning content such as software demonstrations, software simulations, branched scenarios and randomized quizzes.

For example, a fully narrated and topic organized CPRS overview is available at the Madison VA. This was created with Adobe Captivate and utilized by the entire hospital for COVID-19 up training.

This eLearning content is accessible through TMS allowing for a self-paced informative experience, followed up with TMS checks on learning. Some of the yearly competencies’ employees must complete such as infection control and equipment electrical safety have been converted to this platform.