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Nurse creates Game of Stools to separate fantasy from reality on C.difficile

An infection prevention nurse has turned his hand to board game design to help fellow health professionals to understand and manage clostridium difficile (C.difficile).

An infection prevention nurse has turned his hand to board game design to help fellow health professionals to understand and manage clostridium difficile (C.difficile)


Game of Stools, invented by Gareth Pierce Jones at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Gareth Pierce Jones, who works at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has created Game of Stools.

The game – whose name is inspired by the popular TV fantasy series Game of Thrones – sees players in twos or teams compete against each other.

They take turns asking and answering questions about c.difficile as they move round the board, trying to avoid ending up in isolation with the infection.

According to the Welsh Government, there were 1,047 cases of C.difficile (a rate of 33.7 cases per 100,000 people) in the country in 2016-17.

Case numbers have been steadily falling since figures were first published in 2010 when they were at 2,795 per 100,000 people.

Increased knowledge

In a recent trial at the health board, Game of Stools was played by 85 healthcare professionals, who completed both pre-game and post-game quizzes.

Some 98% of participants answered more questions correctly after playing and reported increase knowledge of:

  • Clinical factors.
  • Risk factors.
  • Transmission.
  • Laboratory diagnosis.
  • Management and treatment.
  • Isolation precautions.
  • Environmental cleaning.

 Mr Pierce Jones said: ‘I had the idea of designing an educational game to teach healthcare professionals about C.difficile infection in a non-traditional, but engaging way.

‘Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is committed to excellent infection prevention practices, and this is achieved through our continuing and determined focus on improving clinical practices and staff knowledge – Game of Stools is helping us to achieve excellent standards.’

Educational games firm Focus Games Ltd, which is also responsible for other nurse-led games such as Infection Control and The Sepsis Gam, is distributing the game, which costs £80.


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