A tweet, a light bulb & a fire hydrant

We receive a lot of tweets via @WeNurses, in fact some might say more than a lot with @WeNurses engaging 19226 amount of times over the past month “a lot” might be somewhat of a understatement! WeNurses gets all types of tweets from drawing our attention to blogs to people telling us about their day however one tweet has really stuck in my mind this week.

This tweet was sent from @starkers69 asking for help:

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Now as usual when people ask for help from @WeNurses we retweeted it sending it out to the huge knowledge base that is the nurse community.  However this tweet intrigued me as I thought to myself that this could be a very real situation that as a practicing nurse I may have to deal with one day, so I started scratching my head as to the answer. A small conversation ensued whilst I was scratching my head, but now one seemed to know the definitive answer.

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 Then I thought who would know the answer, and again this involved some head scratching (I can assure you that I did not have a head lice problem!) Then I started to think a little more creatively about this problem …. And asked myself how could I find out the person who would know the answer? Suddenly a light bulb came on and I somewhere in the distance, I think, a fanfare sounded … the answer was in the search facility on the WeCommunities website.

Screenshot 2015-01-17 08.50.35The search page on the WeCommunities site allows you to type in key words and search all of the discussions, summaries and blogs on the site.  So I gave it a go and typed in “safeguarding” and this it what it revealed:

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 I then sent this tweet out:

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To which Ruth then responded!

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And the problem was solved!! It was amazing to find the solution to a problem not through trawling Google or asking millions of people but by taking a approach that tapped into a system that held the answers.

2595497078_4f6d5367bcAll this left me reflecting on the importance of knowledge and expertise sharing and most importantly the importance of people. Together we have a huge amount of knowledge, but sometimes its like drinking from the proverbial fire hydrant to find that knowledge. There has never been any doubt in my mind that social media is all about people but this one very small event has firmly cemented that principle – now we just need to find a way to filter that fire hydrant of knowledge.

Spring cleaning

rubber-gloves-512027_1280I have been doing some spring cleaning … ok yes I know its not spring yet (I live in hope) but the new year always galvanises me into doing some sorting and tidying.  This year with the NMCs revalidation looming over the horizon my spring cleaning has extended to my digital spaces too and I have been updating, revising and adding to my social media profiles.



Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a worrier ….I worry about everything and if I am not worried about anything then I worry about not being worried !  So it will come as no surprise to some people when I say that I am a little worried about revalidation.  I am worried because, like quite a few nurses out there, I do not fit into a neat box.  Most of my work these days is within social media, with some clinical work chucked in for good measure.  And my learning and professional development comes from a variety of sources.  Throw into the mix that revalidation will require us to reflect on feedback from patients, relatives or colleagues and my professional portfolio just got very complicated!

All of this has been churning around and around in my head for quite sometime – which is why I decided to take action.  Since the new year started I have fully and comprehensively updated my LinkedIn profile and updated my blog information and as I started to do this I started to wonder if there was some way I could easily collate all my social media nursing “stuff” and all of my other nursing “stuff” in one social media space.  Well this started to sound like a rather exciting social media experiment to me …  an irresistible challenge.

So I have started to formulate an idea about what this would look like and this week I have taken the first steps  into making this a reality … I sat down and drew what all my nursing “stuff” was  … and here it is >


This is going to be the first blog of a few throughout the year charting my progress of using social media as a portfolio.  I want to suck in all of my social media nursing life and my actual nursing life into a social media platform and make it a living breathing portfolio.  The mind map above is what I want to include.  I want it to be easy to update and shareable and I want it to be done using free tools.

What do you think?

Can it be done?

Well ….. if I don’t try I will never know.


A personal reflection to start 2015

images (6)It feels almost like it was yesterday – my exit interview at the nursing agency I worked for – I can hardly believe that it is actually getting on for 3 years ago now, but I will never forget the words of the manager who conducted that interview.  This was the manager who would laugh and say “Twitter!” every time he passed me who told me at my exit interview that I “would never make it on my own.” I have an awful lot to thank him for, as without his words there would have been many times when I would have given up – but his words of advice translated into a challenge for me … along with the belief that I have never been on my own!

2013logoSo much has happened since that day that I sometimes have to take time to just breathe.  WeNurses has become a wonderful and supportive community of nurses and has been duplicated across healthcare professions. Coming from a place where I had no support and rarely discussed anything with another nurse (except day to day patient care) connecting and supporting is something I feel very passionate about – no nurse, or healthcare professional, should ever feel that they are alone.  Through support and discussion we CAN make a difference – one conversation can make one difference to one person, which if in turn can improve the care of just one patient then it’s all worthwhile…. We should never underestimate the significance of starting a conversation that matters.

I have been overwhelmed this year by the recognition that I have received and it seems that 2015 is off to a flying start with the publication of The Queens New Years Honours List.  I feel humbled and honoured that people took the time to put my work forward.  It’s been quite a journey but I have been lucky that throughout I have never been on my own.

Since the day that I walked out of my exit interview and made, what seemed to be at the time, a huge jump off a very high cliff I have learnt so much …but one thing that sticks with me is this quote:


No one can doubt that social media was not taken seriously within healthcare 3 years ago, it was ignored, laughed at and shunned .. social media was not a serious or professional form of communication …. However things are changing and through drawing a circle and ensuring that everyone feels valued and included via open conversation we can make a difference.

Thank you #NurseCommunity, we have come so far and we have a long way to go but we wont be on our own.

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