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Germ Jeopardy

Tuesday February 22, 2000
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Infection control is a part of a nurse's job no matter what role he or she plays. But practicing infection control and verbalizing theory are two different situations. While we practice infection control every day, our aim is to reinforce what we know in daily practice.
At Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, an affiliate of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, we have always recognized Infection Control Week, celebrated during October. This year, we wanted to do something different, something that would be valuable, interesting, and educational for our nurses and all employees. We decided to recognize Infection Control Week with a game - Germ Jeopardy.
Infection Control for 200, Alex
The premise was taken from the nationally known game show Jeopardy. We realized that within the departments of nursing, epidemiology, and creative media, we had extraordinary talent. We decided to combine these talents to develop an interactive game where participants and the audience could learn together. With the help of a projector connected to a laptop computer and a PowerPoint program, with sound bytes from the actual game show and applause, we were able to display our answers on a large screen, which was visible to the players and the studio audience.
The rules, with minor modifications, were taken from the actual game show. All answers and questions were taken from our Infection Control Policy and Procedure Manual, which incorporates basic infection control principles. Judges and the master of ceremonies were recruited from the Infection Control Committee.
Teams of three included nurses from
several departments, the Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and our off-site dialysis team. Participation from within the nursing department was varied, ranging from bedside nurses to nursing administration. The battle was on for the team most knowledgeable about infection control!
What Is...
Although infection control is something that we all know, most of the players were still anxious. Would we forget basic information in front of everyone? Would anyone wonder why we got an answer wrong? Did we really know as much as we thought we did? Nobody wanted to be the one to answer incorrectly. And it was obvious that all of the players had studied before the contest.
Three teams competed each day for three days. The winners of the preliminary rounds played each other in the "Tournament of Champions." Everyone benefitted from this experience. The participants rallied to be the first team to 'ring in.' Those in the audience played along mentally. Some commented that others should have participated, and that we should have videotaped the games for those who could not come to watch. It was a good format for other educational opportunities.
Although few have the opportunity to play the real Jeopardy game, vying for cash and being watched by millions on television, it was a wonderful opportunity for those of us who participated in Germ Jeopardy. No, we didn't win cash (although we all got prizes), but we realized just how much we knew about infection control. What a great way it was to learn and enjoy infection control guidelines.