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New game set to transform safety training for aged care workers

Aged care workers will soon be able to play a video game on their computer, tablet or smart phone to improve knowledge and skills in safety and minimise risk in the workplace.

The app, Safe Environments, is a competency-based serious game that has been designed to meet the national safety standards and training needs of aged and community care workers.

It features over 150 randomly generated hazards in 11 different categories and a variety of scenarios to improve the user’s knowledge and skills in managing safety in different environments such as a facility, a client’s home or public park.

Safe Environments has been developed by researchers from the University of Sunshine Coast in conjunction with developers Bondi Labs and home and community care provider Suncare.

As users navigate through a particular environment they need to identify and categorize risks, such as a slip and trip or poison hazard, and then look at how to mitigate the risk.

Users are presented with different scenarios each time they play so rote learning is not possible, said Associate Professor Patrea Andersen from the university’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine.

“We want to try to engender the ability to critically think through scenarios for people in different environments,” Dr Andersen told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“In terms of application to the real world it means workers should be able to go into a number of different environments and apply the skills and knowledge they have learnt through playing the game,” she said.

Players of the Safe Environments game are given feedback on strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for further learning.

At the end of the game users are given a breakdown of their score, showing their strengths and weaknesses and information on all the hazards they missed or got wrong to help improve their knowledge and skills, she said.

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