How to meet audio needs of learners in a healthcare setting

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We are trying to find out what other healthcare organizations are doing to meet the audio needs of learners in care settings.


1.       1,  Do you use video and/or narration in your online learning modules?

2.       2. If so, how are they done on nursing units without disturbing patients or missing alarms (e.g. designated learning space with speakers, headphones, closed captioning, etc.)?


We would love to hear what your organization is doing!



8 Replies

Hi Jill,

I use audio in my learning modules.

I personally don't think that patient care should be second to learning online, so I advise where possible, to not attempt courses at work unless in a designated space away from the bedside. I'd certainly not be expecting anyone to miss alarms etc because of the module, no matter how interesting and engaging I make it!  

I often insert the video clips into laptop screens or TV screens or even onto the projection screen template to engage students that little bit more.

Hope this opinion helps!


Stephen Forster

I've produced quite a lot of e-learning content within the healthcare setting and have not really used audio. Often its hard to find an environment where its appropriate to have the sound on at a reasonable level and other people tend to complain its too loud and distracting and many people don't work in their own office.

When i have used audio, it tends to be narration of the on screen instructions so that  people are not disadvantaged if they are not able to listen to it.  Some staff like to bring in headphones and listed to the audio, but the majority in my experience tend to prefer it with the sound off.

Greg Rider

We use audio in most of our online courses within a large, academic medical center.  However, as some of our nursing units do not use the audio feature, we provide narrative transcripts for all the courses.  In addition, the "Notes" feature in Articulate allows for an easy-to-read pop-up feature with the narrative displayed on the screen along with the regular text and graphics on the screen.  The Notes feature can be inactivated and re-activated many times during the course, to allow for individual preference.

lynn murphy

We use video and narration more and more. Often there is a computer in an office that nurses can use or headphones are available. Like Greg, we take advantage of the notes section for our closed captioning. We type in the notes page in PowerPoint then have the Notes tab on the left pane as the opening setting. It somehow seems to work out and our associates love having video.

Jacqui Cooper

Hi all, as a developer myself with hearing loss I have tended to avoid using audio in my courses as I am aware of the potential difficulties it can pose for people in my situation. Providing comprehensive captions, though, should help.   To be honest, I have found a lot of the demos from the community on this forum have really helped me in developing my own material but have had to rely on guesswork sometimes as there are often no captions and I cannot hear the narration!

Jill Terry

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. We have used similar methods and try to make sure modules are not dependent on sound. However, with more video being used - nurses are frustrated that they don't have sound (even if we provide closed captioning). Frustration and the lack of sound (for audio learners) can detract from the learning experience. This is why we are exploring new options.

Thanks again!


G Innes

I make nursing modules for undergraduate students and qualified nurses. For undergraduate I would go all out - bells and whistles- as they have access to university IT labs. A learning environment and suitable equipment. For the qualified nurses I need to be more careful, as the hospital computers often do not have speakers or even sound cards. Worst case scenario they might even struggle to get access to a PC in some areas. I think the nurses would be smart enough to know blocking out all sound when on shift would be irresponsible and unprofessional.

Learning styles and accessibility are also a consideration. So the ideal situation would be to provide the material in several different formats to allow the user to choose. So, if on a quiet night shift they could perhaps read over some printed material. 

Also, in a related note, I have found often streaming media (embedded videos) are blocked by large organisations, so another thing to consider.