5 Reasons… (Part 3)

This is the last blog in my 5 Reasons series – a few weeks ago I explored 5 reasons nurses give for why they don’t (or won’t) use Twitter and last week I looked at 5 reasons why nurses should use Twitter. This blog post is all about what nurses should know when starting out on Twitter:

5 things nurses should know when starting out on Twitter

1The NMC advice on social networking – The NMC have published some really great advice on Social Networking and outline the actions very clearly that could put your registration at risk. Their advice has a good common sense approach but there are two pieces of advice that really stick out for me: the first is “If there is any doubt about whether a particular activity online is acceptable, it can be useful to think through a real-world analogy” If ever you are in any doubt if you should post something on Twitter think it through in real terms .. and if it would breach the code offline it will breach the code online. The second piece of great advice that the NMC give is “Presume that everything you post online will be permanent and will be shared.” Even with the strictest privacy settings applied once the tweet has left your keyboard it can still be duplicated and shared beyond your control. The NMC also raise the importance of photographs online – in a world where we have become very trigger happy with our camera phones it is very easy to snap away and post TwitPics … however it is advisable to think twice before posting pictures and ask ourselves are the suitable to share in public? Is there anything in the background that may cause a problem? Do you have permission from the people in the picture to share it online? Does the picture breech patient confidentiality or the code of conduct in any way? I would have to highly recommend the NMC Social Networking Advice as a “must read” for any nurse on Twitter.


2Everything is public, don’t be stupid! – We are all sat in our lounges in our PJs on Twitter (well I am!!) and this lulls us into a false sense of security but we are in a public space. In fact this space is not just public but it is also AMPLIFIED … it is akin to shouting in public! Remember nurse offline = nurse online.


3Listen as well as talk – As with offline communication the talking is only a part of the picture. Tweeting is not just about tweeting but also listening and responding to others and being part of the community. Don’t just churn out tweets … stop and listen to others and help and support where you can.


4If you get stuck … just ask – A great “Go to” for lots of Tweeting know how is the WeNurses website. However the online nurse community is a very generous one so if you get stuck then just send out a tweet, there is always someone who knows the answer. Also its important to remember that you can’t break Twitter … push every button, open every link and if you get lost then just log out and log back in.


5Be a good role model – Ok so you have me here, I have cheated a little and instead of this being something nurses should know about it is something that nurses should do! Social media continues to be a growing phenomenon – Offcom figures stating that 50% of the entire population are using social networking sites. With some age groups social media is their preferred method of communication so as nurses I fell we have a responsibility to not only communicate with people in the way in which the communicate but also to understand social media, to know what’s out there, to be in this space and to use it well. Not only should we act as good role models for more inexperienced or junior nurses on Twitter but we should also be good nursing role models to the wider public…. After all what we post can potentially be seen by the world!

My intention when setting out to write this series of blogs was to give confidence to nurses to enable them to share the #nursecommunity with others. By clearly setting out common reasons why nurses don’t use twitter and outlining why they should and the basic things that they should know about I hope that the #nursecommunity feel empowered to go out and share and advocate Twitter use in their areas. Of course these 15 Reasons (in total) are just my thoughts so please feel free to share your own via the comments box.

Below is an infographic summarising all of my 5 Reasons series:

My Infographic