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TTSH staff play ‘escape room’ game to boost palliative care skills.

The Sunday Times (4 April 2021)

TTSH staff play ‘escape room’ game to boost palliative care skills.

Putting on a costume and solving puzzles in a mediaeval-themed room sounds like a fun weekend activity for a family or group of friends. But for more than 200 healthcare workers at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), it was part of their training from March 22 to 31.

The aim was to learn more about palliative rehabilitation care by going through an escape room set up in the hospital.

Among those who participated in this inventive training exercise were some 100 occupational therapists, for whom palliative care knowledge has become increasingly important, said senior occupational therapist Nurul Ain Rahmat.

The 32-year-old told The Sunday Times yesterday that occupational therapists typically try to help patients of all ages regain their daily actions after an illness or accident.

However, palliative rehabilitation care focuses on patients with life-limiting diseases – such as end-stage lung disease – whose conditions will generally end up declining.

The role of the occupational therapist is to help patients slow or manage their decline.

“Our population is ageing at the moment, so we will soon see more patients who need palliative rehabilitation care.

“We will need occupational therapists to have knowledge of this sort of care, and how they can assist patients and their families,”said Ms Ain.

she and a committee from TTSH worked with an escape room vendor to make imparting new skills and knowledge to occupational therapists fun and enaging.

Participants in the 75-minute session went through five stations designed to test their knowledge on how to care for patients, such as by identifying the level of care the patient needs, commonly displayedmsymptoms and intervention techniques.mClues were hidden throughout the room and multiple puzzles had to be solved. Participants also had to complete a pre- and post-game quiz to test their knowledge, take a survey and share key learning points.

Ms Ain said preliminary feedback from the healthcare professionals who participated has been positive, with some saying the session helped them to be more engaged in learning, and others commenting that it helped improve their communication and teamwork skills.

“As healthcare professionals, we often need to work in teams, so it’s important to improve such skills,” she said.

One participant, occupational therapist Jasmine Ang, 24, said: “Compared to regular training such as online learning and lectures, this escape room experience enhances the learning process as it is more engaging and interactive.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” she added.

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