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Unlocking the potential of digital in nursing - #WeNurses
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During the past few years we have seen a huge growth in the use of social media in the healthcare sector yet it was only a short time ago that Ferguson (2013) questioned whether health would start to leverage the potential of social media. The answer, some 5 years on, is still unclear.
Whilst there are a few social media pioneers there is still a long way to go in unlocking the true potential of social media. There are many who do not see the benefits and still regard it as a social pastime and not as a serious way for nurses to communicate, connect and make a difference to the people they care for.
Forty-seven per cent of the UK population (Ofcom 2017) uses social media which equates to a large number of nurses potentially already using it in one form or another albeit to connect with friends and relatives. The challenge now is to capitalise on this social phenomena and promote it as a serious communication tool for 21st century nursing.
One of the best ways to use social media is by combining a combination of platforms. For example sharing YouTube videos via Twitter or discussing blogs on LinkedIn. By having a wide and varied approach to social media nurses can understand the resources available to them and use this to continually develop and enhance their practice and patient care.
Nurses are making great gains in social media through viral campaigns and highly accessed Twitter chats. They use it to support one another, to professionally develop, to exchange clinical practice and resources, to reflect, to develop their careers and to connect with patient groups.
Social media is a nursing tool for the digital age as it allows communication on a global scale via a mobile phone that sits in the palm of our hand. With so much information, support, ideas and experience at our fingertips how can we not unlock the potential?
This tweetchat aims to explore:
- What are the benefits to nurses in engaging in social media?
- What are the benefits to patients?
- What are the potential challenges to nurses engaging in social media?
- What is the potential is there for the use of social media in nursing?