The idea of the Pittsburg State Nursing Quality and Safety Scavenger Hunt was, as always, a sneaky attempt at teaching. It was so sneaky that one teacher even heard her students saying, "We found out we know so much more than we thought we did."
That was exactly the point on Wednesday, with PSU Nursing students in the Techniques class not only reviewing for an upcoming final, but also making sure that they know the skills and procedures that they've been practicing all semester long.
There were seven "stations" in the learning resource center, including reviewing procedures for starting IVs, inserting catheters, oxygen therapy, giving shots and more. Jewels and stars were hidden at each station, so that if the procedure were followed appropriately, they would find the stars. For instance, in the oxygen therapy station, the star was cleverly hidden in the sink, so that the nurses-to-be would see it if they washed their hands.
"We've done this sort of review in one form or another for a while," said Kristi Frisbee, nursing instructor. "For several years, the students sat back and talked about the answers. We didn't want them to do that, we wanted them to go through the motions of the procedures. We thought they'd find that engaging, and it really has helped them with the final exam."
The scavenger hunt also brings out a little bit of competitiveness between the various groups that went through the procedures. Even beyond the direct application of the scavenger hunt, the event also helps the groups score points for the Nursing Olympics, which has been taking place all semester long.
The winning group gets taken out for a free lunch by the instructors — within reason. Even earlier Wednesday, Frisbee and others could hear the various groups plotting where they might go if their group were to win.
But the event is also a competitive chance to make sure the students are ready for their final in two weeks, and an opportunity for direct application of the in-classroom lessons.
"She allows them to take the information they have from the lecture hall into the lesson center. They've done all these skills this year. They've put foleys in, catheters in, IVs, feeding tubes," said Dolores Pruitt, coordinator of the simulation and learning resource center. "The questions we give them the ability to go on and apply the information. They're doing things the right way, but there's that fun part of it, too."