Teaching interprofessional skills – an Escape Room with a difference

Mrs Sarah Chapman1, Dr Jane Frost1,2, Brianna Flynn1

1Canberra Health Services, Canberra, Australia, 2University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia

Gamification has proven benefits in increasing engagement and motivation in participants of interprofessional education. An Escape Room is an is a live-action team-based game where players discover clues, solve puzzles and complete tasks to accomplish a specific goal in a designated time. Mask-Ed™ is a simulation technique where an educator dons silicone props to portray a character.  This innovative project combined the two teaching and learning strategies to bring together students in an immersive simulation where they could learn with, from and about each other.  This appears to be  the first combination of these two modalities to promote interprofessional competencies in health professional students from across allied health and nursing.

Aims/ objectives: The educational experience aimed to:

  • enhance student’s confidence in communication and reflective practice,
  • improve knowledge of interprofessional collaboration across health disciplines,
  • demonstrate the importance of teamwork within the multi-disciplinary team.

Method: After each escape room simulation, a structured group debrief was conducted using a standardised tool. Verbal feedback allowed reflective discussion to assist participants to consider their individual and team performance.  A post intervention survey assessed participants evaluation of the activity and its ability to meet learning outcomes.

Results: Qualitative data suggested that the experience, specifically the reflective de-brief activity, would change participants future practice. Most participants rated the escape room experience as good-excellent, with 88% of the students stating that they would recommend this activity to others.

Conclusion: Innovative interactive escape rooms such as the one presented have the potential to increase engagement and change practice in healthcare students


Sarah is a physiotherapist and is currently the Interprofessional Learning Coordinator for Canberra Health Service. The role of interprofessional learning coordinator is responsible for leading, implementing and evaluating frameworks and sustainable learning opportunities for staff and healthcare students that encourage interprofessional collaboration in practice across the organisation and the community.

Sarah has also completed a graduate certificate in Health Care Research and has a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Leadership and Supervision

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