Salem State nursing school hosts 'Room of Horrors' as part of National Patient Safety Awareness Week

Nursing students

At first glance, it may have looked like just another hospital room to the casual observer. A patient lay in the bed, and a bank of monitors and instruments formed part of the wall console behind. A wire basket on the shelf above held medications, IV bags and tubing and latex gloves.

To nursing students from Salem State, North Shore Community College and Endicott College, however, this was a “room of horrors.” Like all good detectives, it was there job to uncover as many of the horrors as possible.

The event, held in Salem State’s state-of-the-art Peter and Carolyn Lynch Nursing and Occupational

Therapy Simulation Laboratory, was part of the schools’ promotion of National Patient Safety Awareness Week, observed March 7-11 this year. A collaborative effort between Salem State University’s School of Nursing and the Northeast Hospital System’s chapter of the nationally recognized IHI Open School Program, ‘Room of Horrors’ brought together 38 nursing students from the three schools to do a bit of ‘nursing forensics’ as part of Open School’s effort to bring patient safety education into educational health care programs.

Nursing professors had planted 25 serious errors in the room. In a race to keep the patient from harm, students had to identify as many as possible. Like true detectives, they left no stone unturned as they looked for safety violations and errors that could compromise the patient’s care. In this case, the patient may have been a mannequin programmed to simulate a real person, but ‘she’ taught these nursing some valuable lessons in real patient care.

Photo caption: Nursing students from Salem State, Endicott College and North Shore Community College try to find 25 patient safety errors in Salem State’s simulation lab during National Patient Safety Awareness Week.