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Peer Review

Clinical Skills Online

by Charavanan Balasubramaniam


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Sep 21, 2008 by Health Sciences
Overview: This Clinical Skills Online (CSO) project, which was produced by St. George’s University of London, provides online interactive videos that demonstrate the following eleven assessments and procedures common to nursing, medicine, and other health related courses: Basic Respiratory Examination, Percussion Technique, Chest Expansion Technique, Tracheal Deviation Technique, Basic Cardiovascular Examination, Thyroid Gland Examination, Phlebotomy, Arterial Blood Gas Sampling, Peripheral Venous Access Procedure, and Catheterization (male and female). Questions are included with the videos for students to consider relative to the assessments and procedures. Supporting project documentation includes a slide presentation and publications. No cost is associated with using the learning object. The videos are downloadable to PDAs, and links to download media players are provided. Key words: physical assessment, assessment videos, clinical skills, procedures
Type of Material: This is a collection of videos demonstrating a variety of core clinical skills.
Recommended Uses: These videos can be used to supplement course work or as preliminary demonstrations of commonly used skills and procedures. The questions that accompany several of the videos can be used to help students think about the meaning of the assessments and procedures. This material would also be very good for students who need/require remediation in a beginning health assessment or fundamentals course.
Technical Requirements: Audio capability and QuickTime or Windows Media Player are required. The videos can be downloaded to PDAs. Links to download media players are included.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The learning implied learning goals are:
  • Visualize the methods used for physical assessment and clinical skills
  • Describe the procedures used for clinical procedures, such as - phlebotomy, male and female catheterization, arterial blood gases, and peripheral venous access
  • Describe the procedures used for health assessment, such as - respiratory, cardiac, and thyroid
Target Student Population:

Videos from this site can be used by medical, nursing, and other health related students. They were created for use by a wide audience, including students in the lower levels of college.

The site is deemed suitable for viewers 18-21 years or older by the authors. They also noted that the site is registered with the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) content rating system.

Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:

Students need to have a basic understanding of anatomy & physiology, microbiology, asepsis, universal precautions, and principles of patient safety before attempting to understand the material.

The learner needs minimal computer usage knowledge: accessing websites and use of the mouse are about the only skills required.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The videos are well produced with content that can be used by several disciplines.
  • Skills & procedures are generally well demonstrated
  • Includes questions to consider relative to some of the procedures
  • Each video is short enough to maintain interest yet thorough
  • The skills and procedures are commonly used in clinical settings
  • Various accents are included among the physicians and nurses—reflects reality
  • Good demonstration of the Allen Test
The videos produced in the United Kingdom (U.K.)were clear and easy to understand. The spelling differences may be a hindrance to students from the US.
  • The viewer is unable to hear the sounds the health care provider is hearing such as lung sounds, etc. but this fact does not negate the high value of this project
  • In the abdominal assessment video, the abdomen was not auscultated prior to palpation (standard procedure in the USA)

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars

The supporting documentation demonstrates improvement in student learning with the incorporation of the videos in course work. The use of the videos also can aid the faculty by providing an additional source of information for students. Anytime you provide students with something they can view over-and-over at their own pace, you are providing something that enhances learning. This material can be used in a basic nursing course or in a graduate course for review.


  • The videos were clear and easy to understand.
  • The sound with percussion was particularly good.
    • The variety of videos was refreshing and useful and keeps the learner form becoming bored
  • The British spelling my be confusing to students in the USA
  • Penlight was not used for inspection procedures
  • Abdomen was not auscultated prior to palpation
  • Depending upon the teaching/learning setting, cultural differences in urinary catheterization techniques may vary from country to country

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This material is presented clearly, and the site is visually pleasing and user-friendly. Links to media players are available.
Concerns: None