Intravenous literature: Duncan, I., Yarwood-Ross, L. and Haigh, C. (2013) YouTube as a source of clinical skills education. Nurse Education Today. Jan 14th. [Epub ahead of print].
BACKGROUND: YouTube may be viewed as a great ‘time waster’ but a significant amount of educative material can be found if the user is carefully selective. Interestingly, the growth of educational video on YouTube is closely associated to video viewership which increased from 22% to 38% between 2007 and 2009.
OBJECTIVES: This paper describes the findings of a study undertaken to assess the quality of clinical skills videos available on the video sharing site YouTube.
DESIGN: This study evaluated 100 YouTube sites, approximately 1500min or 25h worth of content across 10 common clinical skill related topics.
METHODS: In consultation with novice practitioners, nurses in the first year of their university diploma programme, we 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, we viewed each of the first 10 videos on the YouTube website. The videos were evaluated using a modification of the criteria outlined in Evaluation of Video Media Guideline.
RESULTS: 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’.
CONCLUSIONS: 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.