With a growing interest in technology sneaking into every area of our lives, it was only a matter of time before tech started showing up in our educational systems too. Today, schools everywhere are using technology to greatly enhance the learning experience and quality of their students and staff, and few fields might benefit from this practice more than the medical and healthcare providers segment.
As with any new concept, there is controversy surrounding the idea of bringing videos into the healthcare profession learning modules. On the one hand, many people see the inherent benefits of using videos to deliver more information faster and more clearly. On the other hand, videos come with their own issues including copyright infringement and technological obstacles and glitches.
If you’re on the fence about incorporating this technology into your learning circuit, read on to find out how videos can be utilized for better learning for healthcare providers, what the pitfalls are, and how you can make the most of this innovation.
Videos Grab Your Attention
Imagine you are a teacher about to give a lecture on emergency medical care. You walk into the room and students are fully engrossed in conversations with their friends and classmates. Nobody pays you much mind, even as the class begins.
Then, a siren blares, cutting through the cacophony of sounds like a jagged-edged blade. All heads turn to determine the origin of this alarming noise, many with concern in their eyes. A screen at the forefront of the classroom shows an all-too-familiar scene: a car accident on the highway. The medics rush in, sirens wailing, and attempt to diffuse the situation, tend to the wounded, and give medical care in any way they can…
…and throughout the room, not a whisper can be heard. That’s right, with this single video, you’ve captured your students’ attention, and their minds are ready to be filled with valuable, lifesaving information.
That is the power of a good video. Videos snap us out of our autopilot mode and grab our focus. This is a tried and tested technique that marketers and businesses are using to increase organic traffic and conversions. That’s why you see videos all over the social media scene, they just break us out of mindless scrolling and get us to pay attention (even if only for a few seconds).
When trying to educate healthcare providers, getting their attention is the first step towards success, which is why so many educators are adopting videos into their curriculum. A 30-second video at the beginning of class does more than all the yelling, desk banging, and bell ringing you could ever accomplish.
Another way videos are helping in the education of healthcare professionals is with their ability to deliver more information faster. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth ten million. What it would take you several paragraphs to explain, define, or instruct takes only a few seconds of visual aid to give over.
Just imagine the difference between trying to describe how to properly insert a tourniquet with words vs. showing someone in person. That’s the difference that video has over written text. With such clarity, it’s easier to deliver more information and instruction faster and more efficiently than you could with a simple article covering the same concept.
Getting students and professionals to memorize a bunch of lists isn’t especially beneficial, especially if the brain goes into overload mode and just forgets most of the material a short while later. This is a common occurrence when students are given large quantities of information to remember at one time. They remember it for a short period of time, but the information doesn’t register with long-term memory. So, it’s quickly forgotten, doing little good for the healthcare provider when they actually need the information.
With video education though, this is not the case. In fact, studies have shown the exact opposite. Test subjects had 65% greater retention when video was used, as opposed to just images or text. Video education doesn’t just help us in the short term to memorize a bunch of terms or routine procedures. Instead, this educational tool is also helping healthcare providers learn the material more thoroughly for lasting results.
Taking this concept one step further, video lends even more depth to a concept than the written word. After all, seeing something in 3D, moving, acting, and doing what you’re supposed to helps clarify exactly the right and wrong way to do things. Even simple still pictures have the ability to clarify complex concepts and scenarios more easily than written text, and when you add motion to these images, everything just falls into place.
Instead of students learning how to perform a physical exam, administer medications, or treat wounds, they can watch a professional nurse or doctor perform these tasks. They can take note about technique, positioning, and minor details that might get lost in a paragraph of text.
Healthcare providers can even learn managerial and office procedures faster via the video forum. Clerical duties such as data input, collecting patient health history, or even technical troubleshooting are all much clearer when explained with a video.
While there’s no dearth of academic papers on most any topic concerning the healthcare provider’s daily life, video submissions are quickly leveling the playing field. After all, with channels like YouTube, Daily Motion, Our Media, and Vimeo, to name a few, there is certainly no lack of video sharing potential. And healthcare providers are more eager to proliferate their ideas and practices through video streaming channels than ever before. As a result of this easy sharing capability for educators and easy access for the learners, there’s just so much material out there today.
What’s more, with innovative technology, you can download YouTube videos to your devices, convert them to various formats, and save them to watch offline. That way you can review material, procedures, and regulations on a regular basis and whenever you have free time, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
Inside and Out
Organizations are also realizing another benefit to videos that have nothing to do with external resources. In fact, hospitals, hospices, healthcare facilities are using videos to improve internal communications as well. Sending out an in-house video to your board or staff members about corporate communications such as new procedure adoption, advancements in treatments, or introducing an exciting new program helps get your important messages out to tens, hundreds, and even thousands of staff members and students all at once.
What’s more, videos are an excellent forum for sharing medical expertise and knowledge between healthcare professionals. You can send out a video about a procedure, treatment, or even something as mundane as data entry into the records system, and get peer opinions, superiors’ opinions, and trainees’ questions in an easy to share and easy to keep organized format.
Lightening the Mood
Let’s face it. Some of the information you have to give over to your healthcare providers is somewhat…dry. It’s hard to get anyone fired up about medication administration protocol or nursing care guidelines. For these reasons, healthcare educators are turning to a more engaging method of teaching: the video.
Videos are more engaging than a drab text article, and if you really want to add some color to your presentation, GIFs, animation, and sound clips turn a boring PowerPoint presentation into an interactive and captivating piece. And when engagement is high, you can be sure that data retention, understanding, and overall proper application of the concepts will be higher too.
BONUS: Patient Education, Too
Our healthcare providers aren’t the only ones learning through this useful tool. Everyone from health carriers to private doctors’ offices is adopting this form of education to give their patients a better understanding of symptoms, requirements, tests, and procedures. And when patients are better educated, it makes the job of healthcare providers that much easier to manage.
The Dark Side of Videos
Of course, not everything about video education is great. For one thing, you have to be sure to find good quality videos to show your staff members and students. Poor quality videos can obscure the information, implant false ideas, or confuse those you are trying to educate.
Some educators worry that it will be hard to find the right videos sometimes. This obstacle can be easily overcome by turning to the internet. Like we already said, there’s no end to the resources available today. A simple Google search will direct you to almost anything you could want. And using the tools we talked about earlier, you can put those videos into the right format for presenting to your class and staff members.
Finally, educators worry about technical glitches, and that’s understandable. If you don’t have the right setup, your entire lesson can be lost. Fortunately, technology of today is such that you can literally turn any laptop into a projector, presenting any video for an entire room full of participants.
Video: Taking Healthcare Provider Learning to a New Level
Video is quickly becoming king of marketing, entertainment, and creative expression. And now it is evolving into a useful educational tool as well. While there are a few minor hiccups, these can usually be ironed out quickly, leaving you with nothing but the tremendous educational benefits of video learning including greater retention, faster learning process, more information processing, higher levels of engagement, and a more personal touch. Video technology is the wave of the future in education. How are you implementing this valuable tool into your organization right now?
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