Background: Nursing case studies have been an effective technique for the nursing student to engage in critical thinking and application to a multitude of nursing concepts. The case study approach is one student-centered approach that has received increased attention in nursing education (Diekelmann & Lampe, 2004, pp. 245-247). Providing case studies for accelerated, second-degree option nursing students presented its own set of challenges. These challenges included presentation of content in a 9 week timeframe while providing an active-learning environment and providing case studies in a different format since students had the same course instructor for previous nursing courses.
Description of Method: A situation in a current medical-based television show (i.e. compartment syndrome) was used as the basis for the case study and directly applied to one of the online lectures. Students were shown this segment and then directed to use each step of the nursing process to see how accurately the medical situation was portrayed, identify inaccuracies or omissions in content, and evaluate additional nursing strategies that could have been used (i.e. the students became the television show‟s consultants). The in-class based case studies were used as exam review sessions with the students in a synchronous format.
Implications: Students described the TV consultant format as an innovative tool to present case studies. This interactive experience increased the amount the students engaged in discussion and increased application of previous course content into their responses.
Conclusion: Case studies via use of media is an invaluable resource to course directors who are challenged with providing the necessary information for the didactic information with interactive activity in a format that promotes critical thinking. The combination of online and TV based case studies may represent adjunctive pedagogy that holds promise for better preparing nursing students in critical thought as it relates to nursing concepts.