The NEWS2 Game is an effective game-based learning resource that helps staff and students improve their practical understanding of the assessment process. The game addresses the role of NEWS2 in escalation, de-escalation, care reviews, and reassessment.
The game can be used by nurses, AHPs and students of all grades from any speciality. It is particularly useful for inductions, staff who require further education and following specific incidents.
“An innovative educational game to make delivering high-quality care for our patients fun and memorable.”
Dr Hal Spencer, Medical Director, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHSFT.
- The game presents players with 2 challenges:
- Challenge 1: Arrange Observation cards to create observations for 4 imaginary patients. They are ranked from most well to most unwell. Teams then select the conditions that are most likely to be represented by the observations they have created. Discussion should explore the clinical rationale and why specific observations are indicative of illness and any exceptions.
- Challenge 2: Players are required to transcribe a patient's observations onto a NEWS2 chart and calculate a score. They do this while being distracted by loud noises and interruptions. Any variances are discussed to highlight the human factors that can lead to mistakes. Discussions can also include appropriate escalation using SBAR and potential management options for the patient.
Each of these challenges give the trainer the opportunity for an in-depth discussion on patient assessments, clinical decision-making and appropriate escalation processes. As well as giving a clear understanding of the human factors involved in NEWS2 miscalculations such as “normalising” the abnormal, noisy environment, stress and lack of familiarity.
The game’s objectives are:
- Generate discussion around how observations relate to a patient’s health.
- Encourage appreciation that each observation may be a cause for concern, depending upon the patient’s underlying conditions and individual ABCDE assessment.
- Appreciate how NEWS2 scores are calculated and associated errors.
- Establish uniform completion of NEWS2 documents to improve recognition of unwell patients.
- Recognise the need for escalation, de-escalation, care reviews, and reassessment.
The game is self-contained and does not require any external support. Anyone with clinical knowledge can facilitate a session: All you need is:
- 1-12 people divided into teams of between 1-4 players.
- Able to be played face-to-face, whilst observing COVID restrictions.
- 60 minutes playing time.
The NEWS2 Game was created by Kate Turner, Digital Charge Nurse at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Kate has been using the game with students and qualified staff for over 4 years.
This is how it began:
“Working in Clinical Education I discovered that some staff were citing NEWS for escalations without recognising the implications of individual observations for the patient.
I created the NEWS2 Game to help staff better understand the assessment process and the use of NEWS for escalation.
The game encourages staff to discuss the potential implications of a single set of observations to shift their focus onto the patient and not just their score. Through discussing patient management based on observations staff reflect on their role in the recognition, escalation and management of a deteriorating patient.”