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YouTube as a source of clinical skills education

YouTube as a source of clinical skills education

YouTube is great for looking at the latest music videos, people falling off skate boards or cat's making funny noises. However, a new study has found that YouTube might have a found a seat at the round table when it comes to clinical skills education!

The study looked at 25 hours of online YouTube educational material in relation to 10 common clinical skills. In consultation with novice practitioners, nurses in the first year of their university diploma programme, the study identified ten common clinical skills that typically students would explore in more detail or would wish to revisit outside of the formal teaching environment. For each of these topics, the study viewed each of the first 10 videos on the YouTube website.

They found that The topic with the biggest number of both postings and views was cardiopulmonary resuscitation and more specialist, nursing or health related topics such as managing a syringe driver or undertaking a pain assessment had less video content and lower numbers of viewers. Only one video out of the 100 analysed could be categorised as 'good' and that was the one in the Cannulation section. 60% of the CPR and venepuncture content was categorised as 'satisfactory'.

The study found that there is a clear need for the quality of YouTube videos to be subjected to a rigorous evaluation. Lecturers should be more proactive in recommending suitable YouTube material as supplementary learning materials after appropriately checking for quality.

Some instructors might also consider developing their own videos for classes where they can address specific questions and issues that were identified in earlier training. This approach allows the student to go beyond the often straight forward run-of-the-mill scenarios.  

Source:  2013 Jan 14. pii: S0260-6917(12)00410-8

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