For years, the nurses most practical tool has been the pen ask any nurse that keeps losing their pen at work, its such a pain to find a new one. One pen has endless possibilities with language and for communicating with others but another powerful tool that everyone utilises a lot these days is the mobile phone
The mobile phone has offered an unlimited amount of resources through social media, whilst it allows to create content by sharing and engaging with many different people. We all know that social media can be a funny thing as attention has become a commodity, it can be distracting and its hard avoiding misinformation or the negatives of trolls (Rule No.1 – don’t feed the trolls). Its easy to allow the negatives to drown out the positives with social media but like with anything in life a bit of moderation is key.
For nurses a social media platform such as Twitter is useful, here are 4 reasons why –
– On Twitter, there are many other nurses and doctors, its really interesting to see what areas people are working in and what topics are brought up. Its possible to connect with a diverse range of healthcare professionals and some who are leaders and even experts within this industry.
– In everyday life, we network with people who are within our circle and its difficult to reach outside that circle to meet new people. Its amazing through digital interactions I have had a chance to chat with people who are way outside of my circle i.e. like professors, academics, nurses who are senior in organisations and other nurse bloggers who create content. Twitter allows for the bursting of bubbles and offers to see into others peoples perspectives from their ‘worlds’.
2. Support –
– I often reflect about things and when i post questions or a quick thought on Twitter, I’m always amazed by the responses. If you’ve got a question more than likely someone may have an answer for it or even point you in the right direction to find out more.
– The nurses and medical health professionals on Twitter are usually more than happy to provide suggestions or provide links to useful websites with educational resources. At times these resources can be open source (the original resource is made freely available) which is a great way to collect CPD-(continuous personal development) hours.
– Also, its amazing when another person retweets one of your original tweets, it can gain a crazy amount of views- its bit of a ‘Wow’ moment when you find out so many people have read the words that you have written.
– To keep up to date with changes or new developments that are happening, there are many organisations on Twitter i.e. ANMF, AHPRA, NPSMedicineWise, Wicking Dementia, WHO, NM Support etc. This helps to stay current, also many major Australian hospitals have a presence on Twitter as well.
– Sometimes, if I’m not able to attend conferences physically its easy to follow the highlights of presentations on their Twitter handle or if you know the specific hashtag, you can see what other people viewpoints of the presentations are.
– Twitter’s reach breaks the lines of geography as you may be able to follow someone locally within your own city, nationally or internationally. Twitter allows access to current events as they are happening, for example when events occur overseas- seeing health professionals messages, new learnings and at times senses of hope crosses over, it is powerful as you get to see real people reflections & emotions in real time.
Originally tweets were up to 140 characters long but that was eventually increased to 280 characters, this restriction of characters on a tweet means Twitter is basically a medium for quick written thoughts and views.
Of course, the pen is the nurses greatest tool on hand and now with social media new engagements and connections can be created with others on Twitter. I never thought I would have built digital relationships with healthcare experts and Twitter has allowed a greater feeling of being part of a community.
- NMBA – APHRA: Social media: How to meet your obligations under the National Law- https://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Codes-Guidelines/Social-media-guidance.aspx