Before I add the edited version of the comment on the video, I would like to say that I love hearing your comments about the videos - it is especially useful to hear from people who have 'disliked' the videos, because it gives me a picture of whether people have understood the purpose of the videos and for me to take a second look at the videos to see, if I haven't been clear in what I am trying to portray.
Sometimes, I receive comments like the one below, which indicate that they don't quite understand what these videos are capable of showing:
(Edited Comment) 'These videos are silly! The nurse doesn't show any care for the patient'
Why did I start creating these videos and what are the pros and cons?
I started making cartoon-style videos, as I moved into making digital resources for Blended Learning and digital self-study resources. It's obvious that using real people to act in a video is the best way to show all areas of communication - verbal and non-verbal (including tone of voice). Real people also use real voices, not computer-generated voices. But, real videos are extremely expensive to make and so I looked for another option.
The first type of videos I made were made through Xtranormal ( an example here). Little Lego characters played the parts of nurse, doctor or patient. The voices were all computer-generated and sounded quite 'clunky'. The only movement was side to side or facing the camera. But they were a starting point.
I then moved on to GoAnimate videos (an example here). The characters could do more movements (not all appropriate to a hospital setting, e.g. giving a 'high 5'!), but were still not able to move in such a way as to be able to show important movements like a gentle touch on a person's arm to show empathy etc.
I started learning how to load authentic voices to the dialogues, sometimes professional actors (in the case of videos made for online courses), sometimes my voice or the voices of friends. Having authentic voices improves the videos no end and makes the videos better learning tools for medical English.
The fact that the videos are made to illustrate examples of MEDICAL ENGLISH COMMUNICATION SKILLS cannot be emphasised often enough. As you can see, I have put this in capital letters, not because I am shouting at you, but because it is the whole point of the development of the videos. They are not intended to teach clinical skills or prescribe mediation for various conditions at all. They aim to present examples of dialogues which nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals may have on a regular basis with patients and their relatives.
As such, they are not intended to be copied exactly as the only way to have such conversations. They are most useful, when they can be watched and thought of as one way to ask for information, give advice, make suggestions etc. The next step is to think 'What would I say to this patient in this situation?'
The downside of the videos is the fact that the characters are static. They can show a very limited range of non-verbal comunication. We all know that non-verbal communication is vital to show aspects of good care, e.g. tone of voice, personal space, movements like leaning forward etc., but this is not possible with these types of videos.
For this reason, the videos need to be seen as a starting point for the development of these skills. This is where face-to-face instruction is invaluable, be it in a class-room, in the online classroom through a web link, with a facilitator on the ward or with a mentor outside the work environment.