Med Teach. 2022 Oct 29:1-5. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2022.2133999. Online ahead of print.
AIMS: To establish an on-call escape room as a novel educational tool for Foundation Year 1 (FY1) doctors’ induction at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust. The escape room simulates common on-call scenarios for newly qualified doctors, with a view to facilitating communication and teamwork with unfamiliar peers and establishing a safe environment to develop practical skills. Ultimately aiming to reduce anxiety and improve confidence amongst our FY1 cohort.
METHODS: A pilot escape room, as a simulated on-call shift with nine clinical scenarios, was designed for groups of 4-5 doctors. Following feedback, a 70-minute escape room with 17 clinical scenarios was established. Sequential completion of tasks would ‘unlock’ the door to handover with a senior colleague, thereby finishing the ‘shift’. Questionnaires utilised a 10-point Likert scale to assess confidence and anxiety levels with regards to on-call shifts. Statistical analysis was performed using the Student’s t-test.
RESULTS: Pilot: Nineteen participants trialled the pilot escape room. Perceived levels of confidence increased from a mean of 5.0 to 7.1 (p < 0.05).Final: Forty-one participants underwent the final version of the escape room with perceived levels of on-call confidence increasing from a mean of 4.2 to 6.5 (p < 0.05), prescribing confidence from 5.3 to 6.6 (p < 0.05), using apps from 6.3 to 7.5 (p < 0.05), consulting trust guidelines from 5.0 to 7.0 (p < 0.05) and handing over from 5.8 to 6.8 (p < 0.05). Anxiety levels also decreased from 7.2 to 6.3 (p < 0.05) with an overall mean score of 9/10 for ‘enjoyability’ of the session.
CONCLUSION: Incorporating an on-call escape room scenario into induction has demonstrably increased confidence levels and reduced anxiety levels amongst new FY1 doctors. This novel teaching method maximises participant engagement with the view to an enhanced learning experience.