Archive January 2020 XXI, No. 1

Ideas That Work: Staff-Made Reference Videos

An In-house Library Of How-to Instruction

West Virginia University Hospitals
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! A nurse at West Virginia University Hospitals shows how to perform the proper prep for an abdominal procedure in one of the facility's many in-house reference videos.

Want to ensure your staff always has an easy-to-understand reference to help with their policy and process questions? All you need is a camera, some mannequins and a few camera-ready staffers. That’s how we created an extensive library of instructional videos.

To create the videos, we simply asked for some volunteers from our staff, brought out a bunch of our teaching mannequins, grabbed an empty space — either a conference room or an OR that wasn’t in use — and went to work. The videos, which range from how-to clinical protocols to equipment-usage guides, are short and to the point — without all of the product info and advertisements you find in so many how-to videos. These in-house tutorials serve as the perfect reference any time our staff needs a quick refresher on something, and there’s no one around to come over and help. While we do have access to a video camera, you don’t need one. In fact, some of our videos were simply shot on a smartphone because it was easier and more readily available. Starting out, you’ll want to make a list of “hot topics” — any procedures or protocols that tend to garner a lot of questions from staff. For example, we made refresher videos for our robust skin-prep protocol and our arthroscopy tower setup ( One other key consideration: Post the videos where staff will have easy access to them. We use our intranet.

Mary Wilson, BSN, RN, CNOR
West Virginia University Hospitals
Morgantown, W.Va.

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