Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Ludic Learning Lab: Serious Games for Nurses. Theatre Training Reimagined

Kostusik, Rachael (2021) Ludic Learning Lab: Serious Games for Nurses. Theatre Training Reimagined. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Download (2MB) | Preview


Theatre improvisation supports the development of interpersonal skills, building verbal and physical imagination, whilst enabling compassionate interaction between people to enhance connections. Improvisation is emerging in health care as a pedagogical tool that can enhance human to human connections such as the interaction between a nurse and patient enabling experiential learning. This thesis argues that the ludic nature of improvisation exercises stimulates enhanced interaction skills (Toivanen, 2011). The ancient body-mind practices that improvisation draws on offer valuable skills to the learner, contributing to the andragogy of nurse practice and pre-registration education and training. Nurses require unique cognitive capabilities to multi-task, problem-solve and prioritise urgent needs in a fast-paced hospital environment. Human factors such as communication and situational awareness are essential to maintaining high-level patient care across a challenging environment (Eisenhardt, 2021). The World Health Organisation (WHO, 2019) and The Australian Commission for Quality and Safety in Health Care (Report The State of Patient Safety and Quality in Australian Hospitals, 2019; Fotis, 2010) found that deficiencies in human factor skills in hospital settings are affecting patient safety; fifty per cent of adverse events are preventable. Communicating for safety in training is a number one priority to reduce preventable adverse events.

This thesis explores the principles and theories of theatrical improvisation through engaging with the work of Viola Spolin, Rudolph Laban, Augusto Boal, Jacob L Moreno, David Kolb and Howard Gardner. It comprises both a theoretical/critical component and a creative component which is a digital toolkit, the Improv-e-toolkit designed to be used in blended delivery, face-to-face and digital mode. The Improv-e-toolkit is a prototype that aims to unite important clinical nursing skills such as situational awareness, decision making and relationship management. I argue, drawing on the work of Hager (2004) that improvisation training develops team-based trust and effective communication to support positive nurse-patient connections which deliver favourable patient outcomes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Creative Media, Arts and Design
Notes: Accelerated Research Masters with Training
Supervisor(s): Grehan, Helena, Merchant, Melissa and Wilson, Josephine
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year