Free Online Games to Help Nurses Practice Our Craft
As nurses, I believe we are all life-long learners. The medical environment is ever-changing and we have a responsibility to keep up with the latest knowledge, equipment, and skills. One of the easiest and most fun ways I find I can keep my skills sharp is by putting them to the test with a few well-designed and medically accurate games. No, I don’t sit around with my tweezers and play Operation all day (although I own and do play this game on occasion). Below, I’m listing my five favorite games that you can play to practice your craft and keep your nurse skills honed to a razor’s edge.
The Blood Typing Game
To be found on the actual Nobel Prize website, this interactive game starts you off collecting a type and screen for a patient and determining the patient’s blood type. Then, you choose what blood types are safe for transfusion. I nerded out playing this game and enjoyed the sound effects as well as the knowledge. It’s a great practice tool for remembering which blood types are compatible.
SkillStat ECG Simulator
This is my personal favorite. SkillStat is an amazing ECG-learning tool that both teaches you all about the different cardiac rhythms but also has a fun quiz mode. You can watch the rhythms as a live simulation scrolling across the monitor or mouse-over them to pause and evaluate more closely. I recommend this game to anyone who wants to practice their ECG interpretation.
Boasting over 150 nursing quiz games, the LearningNurse.org website is an excellent resource to share with your classmates and colleagues. I like that you can hone in on very specific categories when choosing the games to play. Whether you are looking for a fun way to diversify your learning in preparation for an exam or you are already a nurse and want to refresh on the areas of nursing you don’t frequently encounter, these quiz games are a quick and entertaining way to study nursing topics.
I’ve had this app on my iPhone for years and still have so much fun playing. There are a bunch of cases to play for free and you can purchase field-specific scenario packs (I have both EMS/Paramedic packs) which expand to neurology, gynecology, labor and delivery and more.
You assume care of a patient, can perform a thorough assessment and obtain history, then choose your actions to stabilize that patient. The emphasis in this game is placed on choosing appropriate differential diagnoses, an accurate final diagnosis, as well as performing the right actions in the right orders.
A great feature is the detailed discussion at the end of each case. Every decision you made in the assessment, treatment, and diagnosis of the patient is broken down so you can improve your skills and learn from mistakes.
Another stellar mobile game, Full Code is available in the Apple Appstore as well as the Google Play store and online to play on your computer via their website. This game is a well-polished and medically-accurate simulation that, in most cases, puts you in the shoes of a resident physician in the ER managing a patient.
A nurse and attending physician are available to help you along as you assess, order imaging and medications, and even arrange for consults. You can spend hours playing the free cases in this game and have a lot of fun doing it.
The best part is this game seems to update regularly. I was very surprised to begin playing a case where a patient presented with COVID symptoms. I thought, "Nahh there's no way that's what they are driving at because I've had the game on my phone for years!" Sure enough, the latest update included COVID cases, complete with the most up-to-date courses of treatment!