How can a giant teeter-totter improve patient care?
Seventeen surgical and trauma nurses from University of Kentucky HealthCare got a chance to find out Tuesday as they worked through a challenge course.
"What we are doing is choosing to try a non-traditional method of teaching," said Carol Noriega, who facilitated the program at Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass in Versailles.
Tuesday's outdoor lesson covered the same information that would have been presented in a classroom, she said, but in a way she hopes will better stick with the students. She said people generally remember only 10 percent of what they read but 100 percent of what they do as part of an activity.
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The topic of the day was how to recognize a change in a patient's condition. Nurses took turns writing symptoms on the giant teeter-totter and then had to work together to balance the thing, all while wiggling back to be near the symptom they wrote.
Some doctors also participated to help improve teamwork, Noriega said. The lesson? Working together can help save lives.
Don Fulford, the adventure center's executive director, said all types of businesses have taken advantage of the center's challenge courses. During the past few years, the 570-acre non-profit center has seen a jump in the number of participants; last year it served 12,000 with half- or full-day courses. The center's Web site features a quote from Plato: "You can learn more about someone in one hour of play than one hour of conversation."
Teams "kind of come out here and go, ah, OK, I don't have the phone ringing in my ear. I can focus on how I can make myself and my team better," Fulford said. "When people are relaxed, they do better."