TikTok and its role in regional anaesthesia education - ESRA

ESRA Updates

November 2021 | Issue 06

TikTok and its role in regional anaesthesia education

Melody Herman (Regional & Acute Pain Anesthesiologist, Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center - Charlotte, NC, USA) @anesthesiadocmd
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In the era of fascial plane blocks and handheld ultrasounds, the number of new nerve blocks and patients receiving blocks continues to expand. The TikTok format of bite-sized instructional videos is an effective education tool for both regional anaesthesia novices and experts.

Screenshot of a TikTok video made by Melody Herman

To be successful, first decide your audience. Twitter is a great platform for regional anaesthesia how-to videos. Keep the video concise and to the point, ideally 15 to 45 seconds duration. The beauty of this short duration is that it is a quick introduction or refresher to an unfamiliar block. Unlike Twitter, most TikTok audiences are not interested in learning how to do a block. However, they are engaged with interesting regional anesthesia content that is easy to understand.

The easiest way to create these videos is through a video editing app. A good approach is to start with a voiceover to the video, then edit the video to match the voiceover. Text, clip art, animation, and background music can give life to content that is ordinarily mundane. Verify before posting that what you have created is correct. Anatomy that is mislabeled or incorrect facts are quickly identified by regional anaesthesia commentators on Twitter. Although it can be tempting to give a more thorough review of the block typical of YouTube instructional videos, for a TikTok-style presentation it is best to stay under 1 minute duration. TikTok at times is a forum for bullying, even with regional anaesthesia content! Before posting on any social media platform, be mindful of how much of your identity you are comfortable sharing publicly.

The entirety of regional anaesthesia education cannot easily be condensed into the time constraints of a TikTok-style video. However, these micro lessons can help viewers grasp key concepts, self-serve gaps in their understanding, and revisit videos numerous times until a block is mastered. “Nerve block TikToks” match the fast-paced innovation in regional anaesthesia by allowing us to quickly refresh our knowledge, appreciate the sonoanatomy of differing ultrasound scans, and view the techniques of our regional anaesthesia colleagues worldwide.

Topics: Social Media , E-learning , TikTok

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