• Innovation in Action

Jun 30, 2022

“Escape Room” Style Nursing Training Educates While Promoting Teamwork


Perham Health in Minnesota introduced using an “Escape Room” style of education to keep learning for their nurses meaningful and interesting while challenging their critical thinking skills.

Cheryl Krause, BSN, RN, WCC, Infection Control Coordinator with Perham Health, said the nurses enjoyed the change of education format from simply sitting and learning to actively participating in an exercise. The Escape Room was educational, but they were also having fun and reinforcing teamwork. Nurses were divided into groups of six to eight, some teamed up with staff they do not usually work with.

“What made my day was when one veteran nurse came up to me and said she would now work anytime with a new nurse who was on her Escape Room team,” Cheryl said. “She previously had reservations about this person only because of her inexperience, but the veteran quickly realized the new nurse really knows her stuff.”

The course covered numerous topics, including:

  • Fall risk
  • Assessing catheter continuation
  • Central line dressing changes
  • High-flow oxygen
  • Steps to take if someone has decreased oxygen saturation
  • Hand hygiene
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) donning and doffing
  • High-risk medication
  • Pain scale and correct medication based on pain levels
  • Wound measuring
  • Patient education, including room orientation

Policies and procedures were provided to guide the teams through the course. For many, Cheryl said, it was the first time they touched a high-flow oxygen machine and learned how to set it up on a mannequin.

The winning team was awarded a prize and photos of each team, with their time scores, were posted outside of Cheryl’s office.

“One nurse said this was so much fun and educational, and asked how are you going to top this next year,” Cheryl said.

Cheryl is considering “Jeopardy, Nurse Edition.” Nurses would provide answers, in the form of a question, about key areas that nursing directors and infection control staff identified as high-risk areas that need to be addressed. Additionally, a nursing assistant version of the Escape Room is under development.

“The escape room was a lot of work to plan and set up to make meaningful,” Cheryl said. “But the positive comments, laughter and team building made it a very successful educational offering. They are still talking about the training. It was well worth it.”