Maddie Bender: This is “Scientific American 60 Seconds of Science.” This is Maddie Bender.
In central Texas, three health workers stand beside a patient who is coughing in the back seat of a power-cut government bus. They have 10 minutes to put on personal protective equipment and perform nasal swabs on infected persons.
Nurse: “So here, sir. We’re going back…and turn it around. I’m sorry. Okay, we won’t make one on the other side, that’s it. Well, you did a great job.”
Bender: Unfortunately, this sounds like the sound we heard when we received COVID-19 nasal swabs last year.
Participant 1: “Tell us how you feel in the whole scene. These patients are coughing… We don’t know what this virus is…
Participant 2: “Very nervous. I am scared because I don’t know what to do…”
Bender: The problem is-none of this is true. The patient is a mannequin, which was completed in 2019. But it turns out that it does have foresight.More importantly, according to new research, it Help prepare the healthcare system Because the truly deadly pandemic will reach the United States in 2020. It’s all because of the escape room and zombies.
Bender: You have probably been to or heard of Escape Room. This is a limited-time game where the team can find clues and solve puzzles. The goal is to escape the room. Today, there are tens of thousands in the world.
But in 2017, Kristy Causey and Grace Boseman wanted to bring a different type of escape room to the world. Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. They designed an interactive experience to emphasize the importance of hand washing and proper use of personal protective equipment or PPE.
After five iterations two years later, they changed the theme to pandemic influenza. But when they first started, they got inspiration from the popular TV shows at the time.
Christie Cousy: The sound of zombies is playing throughout the room. We put simulated blood on the wall. Someone donated a projector and the zombie inside looked like it was trying to come in through the window, so we put it down.
Bender: That’s Causey, and his official role is the simulation educator of the veterans’ health care system in central Texas.She said that the boring PowerPoint of teaching clinicians to prevent infection did not cut it at all, so when Boseman proposed to her the idea of a zombie-themed escape room, she said it was a Effortlessly-If it is a novel method.
Cauchy: We started looking for articles and only one article was found in the literature saying that they even tried to make an escape room in a healthcare environment.
Bender: Causey and Boseman want to draw attention to these highly effective infection prevention measures—and what happens if you don’t follow them:
Grace Bosman: When they peeled off the dressing from the wound, Christie pressed a button and people nearby would be sprayed with water.
Bender: That was Bosman, an infection prevention expert in Virginia in central Texas. PPE compliance is not just taught by jumping panic—the duo incorporated best practices into their escape room structure.
For example, Causey and Boseman noticed that clinicians often put on clothes without checking their equipment, so they wrote one of the clues on disposable gloves. They attached a capsule with another clue to the bottom of the sink so that it would fall out when the participants washed their hands.
According to Boseman, the important thing is that learning does not end in the room. She and Causey led the staff to report, where they discussed what to do and what not to do with personal protective equipment. But they want to do more than tell them-they want to show how pathogens can spread without effective PPE. They sprinkled a dollar store detergent with fluorescent Glo-Germ on surfaces and mannequins that serve infected patients.
Hear what happened when they irradiated the gloves and gowns of participants with UV light after 6 roundsday Escape room held in 2019-just a few months before the real pandemic broke out:
Cauchy: We are going to turn off the lights now.
Bosman: So now is the critical moment, let us look at your gloves and personal protective equipment to see if you have anything on your body, so stretch out your hand and show me. You have some places…
Participant 1: Oh wow.
Participant 2: Do you mean if I didn’t have this, would I take this home?
Bosman: correct. Yes, sir.
Participant 2: Oh my goodness.
Bender: But can this gorgeous presentation be effective in the long term? Causey and Boseman sent a survey to participants who fled the room-after three months, 61% of employees said they washed their hands more because of the activity.This pair Show these results Recently at Infection Control and Epidemiology Professional Association Annual Meeting.
Bosman said that, ironically, many participants felt that this situation is unlikely to happen in real life:
Bosman: When we took the flu bus, there were too many patients in our facility, so we had to send them to Dallas. A year later, when we experienced a COVID surge for the second time in our facility, it really happened, and it did have to transport patients to our Dallas facility.
Bender: Due to the pandemic, the couple had to suspend the room. But with the increase in vaccination, they hope to restore the room in time in October-of course, there are some changes:
Bosman: We are running out of clues, so we need to be more creative.
Bender: thanks for listening. For “Scientific American 60 Seconds of Science”, my name is Maddie Bender.