A cup of tea – Day 22

Yes I follow the Tweeting Kettle on Twitter, I’m not quite sure when or even why I began to follow him (or her!) but it’s one of the random accounts I love following.  Anyway this little gem flashed up on my Twitter stream today:



Life saving chats – how often do we consider a chat to be life saving? As a nurse I have never underestimated time spent to sit and chat with a patient, hold a hand, make a cup of tea and take time to listen … but do we consider this life saving ? Maybe we should? Maybe saving a life isn’t just about CPR or stemming the flow of blood …. maybe saving a life is also that moment when we stop rushing around enough to notice that someone needs to talk. I know the times that I have spent, just talking, have often been the times that my role as a nurse has had the most impact and made the biggest difference.

This video was shared on my timeline recently:

Perhaps the Tweeting Kettle isn’t quite so random … A cup to tea can be life saving #KeepTheKettleOn

Errrrrmmmmm – Day 21 !!

Argghhhhhhh !! It seems I have let a few days run away with me … as its now day 21 and Days 18, 19 and 20 just appear to have disappeared into the Christmas ether ! However rather than kicking myself for not succeeding in a blog post a day I would rather reflect on my experience so far:

A blog a day was a hefty challenge, especially during the Christmas period though it has (so far – 3 more days to go) been a worthwhile challenge.  Its brought me back to the heart of blogging, those momentary thoughts that require more than 140 characters.  It’s also increased my Twitter listening and reflection skills as instead of whizzing down my Twitter stream I am now considering Tweets and wondering if there is more to say or reflect on .. and I have found that indeed there is! Even in the briefest of Tweets and those Tweets that perhaps seem “everyday” there has been something that resounds and inspires. You don’t have to share an inspirational quote to get people thinking:


The daily aspect has been difficult, especially with other commitments around this festive period – but I am determined that the next three days will put me back on track.  Of course where does this leave my blogging for the New Year? I’m not sure …. but its certainly something to think about whilst eating some mince pies :)

#EvidentlyAdvent – Day 17

Wow I love this:

What a wonderfully creative way to get some evidence and research into our Twitter streams.  Not only are these films home grown by the UK Cochrane team but they are spot on social media wise; they are short , sociable and shareable AND incredibly addictive !! I can wait until the next one.  I love the way that they have taken very simple messages and made them fun and engaging.  Huge well done to all involved …. I am hooked on #EvidentlyAdvent !

Compassion for colleagues – Day 16

I am feeling a little under the weather today, sniffing and sneezing and a bit of a headache! I know its coming… my Christmas cold…. but just at the moment I am refusing to say I am ill, in the desperate hope that I can carry on regardless.  Feeling a bot sorry for myself i posted a Tweet saying that I wasn’t ill but sniffing and sneezing, the wonderful compassionate and caring tweets that I received back have made me smile a little:

Screenshot 2015-12-16 20.06.06 Screenshot 2015-12-16 20.06.25 Screenshot 2015-12-16 20.06.36

Showing compassion and caring for our colleagues is so very easy on Twitter, as often we are jumping online when we have a quiet moment and we have the time to ask people how they are. Its very easy to spot those in need of cheering up as they often state it in their 140 characters and it takes but moments to respond and make a difference.

However this can be very tricky to do in our day to day work, colleagues rarely clearly state when something is wrong and as nurses we rarely have a moment to notice.  Yet it is so important to spot when someone is under the weather, struggling, confused or upset. taking care of our colleagues and being compassionate towards them creates an environment that everyone is happy to work in, people feel supported, valued and part of a team.. and this has a huge knock on effect to the people we care for.  As the Christmas cold season approaches please just take five minutes to ask colleagues how they are, just the fact that you asked will make them feel so much better.

As for me I am off to buy some paracetamol and soft tissues !!


Is it really holistic care ? – Day 15

Thanks to the lovely Philip Ball (@hospicemanager) for getting me thinking today by tweeting a link to his freshly baked blog post:

In his blog Philip raises a very good point by stating “I am concerned that holistic care is a blanket term for care structures and processes that are uniform. The care cannot be person centred if the same care model is used in the same way for all.” This is certainly something to reflect on; yes we often tick all the right boxes, make sure that everyone has the correct paperwork and we assess, plan, implement and evaluate care.  We also stand up and say that we provide holistic care …. but do we really ? Do we use this phrase with a cavalier attitude, never really stopping to think about whether the people we care for feel that they have had holistic care ? After all surely only they can be the judge.

In his blog Philip also extols the virtues of One Page Profiles which I have to say I am a big fan of …. they really get to the heart of the “what matters to me” question.  Way back in march last year I was very fortunate to have @HelenHSAUK ask if I would mind someone helping me to create a one page profile and the lovely @MichelleHSA helped me to create my one page profile. (I wrote a blog about it HERE) It was a great experience to have someone take the time and find out what matters to me and it made me look at how I provide care in a very different way.  I felt that I was really listened too, that someone stopped for a while and concentrated on what I need to stay healthy and happy and that was important.

So what am I saying here ? I guess that its lets really think about the term holistic, lets not use it willy nilly, lets make sure that the care we give is holistic.  Lets start by listening to what really matters to the people we care for.

Making critical appraisal sexy – Day 14

I was pretty over the moon this evening after receiving this Tweet:


The reason I was over the moon is that way back at the start of the year I met with Sarah Chapman from the UK Cochrane Centre, Andre Tomlin from the Mental Elf and Sally Crowe from CASP UK and we put our head together as to how we could bring critical appraisal to Twitter.  We wanted it to be fast, friendly and fun and we wanted to create something that wasn’t intimidating and that every felt they could join in with.  We laughingly joked about how kittens were very friendly and maybe we should have critical appraisal with little fluffy kitten … Sarah was sat quietly in the corner and suddenly said what about WeCATS – standing for Critical Appraisal Twitter Session !! We loved it and #WeCATS was born.

It takes a lot to put a #WeCATS session together as we need to scout out suitable papers, ensure we know the papers well in respect to the questions asked, highlight relevant bits of the paper ready to tweet and develop infographics and pictures.  Everyone has a job on the night whether its to ask the questions, role model answering questions or being in charge of the #JargonBin we all play our part .. it truly is a team effort with some wonderful experts as part of the team.

So it really is music to my ears that people think that we making critical appraisal more friendly – which is what we set out to do … but also that @misssdjohnson thinks we are making it sexy !!! I am turning cartwheels !! Well done team #WeCATS !!

Of course don’t forget to join in the #WeCATS session this Thursday – it’s a systematic review on portion size – click HERE to see the pre chat blurb.

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Saying sorry – Day 12

This morning I briefly scanned down my Twitter stream and this tweet from @maxwele2 caught my eye (original Tweet by @sarasiobhan):

I clicked on the link and had a read and what struck me was that whilst appearing to apologise sometimes the language we use means we are doing no such thing.  The subtleties in how we say things, what we decide to say and what we decide not to say can really mean so much.  This blog is a fascinating analysis of what is described as ‘non- apologies” and identifies some nuances of linguistics that were intended to smooth over stormy waters however they clearly have not.

As a nurse I feel I have to think about the language I use but I am aware that many of the subtle ways in which I say things, the turn of phrase I may use may not always convey my meaning accurately.  However we have to use a plethora of communication skills so that if our meaning is missed or misread we pick up on it quickly and rectify it … this is easier to do in face to face communication but within written communications are we ever really sure what others read into what we write, or even don’t write?

I guess what I am trying to say, in a round about way … is that we need to keep it simple. Ditch the practised phrases, ditch the standard lines and communicate simply and effectively. We need to think carefully about the language we use and in my opinion never be afraid to say “I am sorry” these simple words really do mean so much.

This Tweet and blog really did make me stop, think and reflect – thank you @maxwele2 and @sarasiobhan.

How far “We” have come – Day 11

I was pretty overwhelmed by this flurry of tweets last night:



Its very rare that I stop and look around and really take in the impact that WeNurses is having and Tweets like this often take me by surprise.  WeNurses started because of my own need to connect with other nurses, as an agency nurse I found it a real struggle to connect, in order to learn, share ideas, experiences and expertise and found that this was having an impact on the way I nursed.  Its been over 5 years since I first started Tweeting and blogging and in that time WeNurses has come a long way.  The community has become diverse, proactive and valued and this is driven by the thousands of tweeting nurses out there.  Sometimes I struggle to see the wood for the trees though. I look to the future and can see how far we still have to go; there is much to do in terms of how well nurses use this space, how we can make the most of social media and how we can continue to use it safely and wisely …. but tweets like these remind me how far we have come and that this community really is making a huge difference to nurses.

I love saying that I am a Tweeting nurse and I love reading tweets like these that remind me that we are doing ok :D


Superheroes that are never alone – Day 10

We are pretty much a family of dyslexics and if I am not tweeting about nursing, social media or cats you can bet that the tweet will be around dyslexia.  The lovely @DiverseLearners brought this tweet to my attention today (original tweet by @ChrisMulryan) :

As a mum with dyslexia to 3 children with dyslexia this really resonated with me  - I love that both Aunt and Niece in this audio clip say that dyslexia is a superpower and that dyslexic are everywhere!! Dyslexia to me is all about seeing things differently and often more creatively – though often it can be a pain, especially when I notice a carefully crafted tweet has a spelling mistake .. and they always seem to be the ones that get RTed the most !!! Dyslexics are definitely everywhere in our house … we hate writing Christmas cards (so don’t expect one dear reader!) none of us knows how to spell (constant “how do you spell …?” questions are asked) however we are full of creativity and have an awful lot of “what if ….” conversations; but most importantly, and this is where we are similar to the Aunt and Niece in the clip, we are able to smile about it and view it positively.

Thanks for sharing this with me Kerry …. its great to be both wearing my pants outside my tights and never be alone :D

Plotting & planning – Day 9

Wow what a day we had yesterday! We had an amazing trip to have a look around Maxwell Hall for WeGetTogether (#WGT216) Many thanks to Salford University for making us feel so welcome.  I wanted to share with you this wonderful picture of some of the WGT16 team in deep conversation as tweeted by @VanessaLGaritty:


As we sat in the room plotting and planning my thoughts went to why we are planning this event; not only is it a great opportunity to bring a wonderful group of people together but also its an opportunity to show how we can do things differently.  I have had the privilege to be invited to many conferences some of which I have learnt lots from, some of which I have been inspired at, so of which I could not wait to get home from and some that i have even spoken at.  Its the ones that I have spoken at which have often made me reflect the most – as you stand on a stage looking out at an esteemed group of health care professionals you cant help but think … wow, there is a lot of experience and expertise in this room! I often find it strange that only one person is listened to and that we so often waste the opportunity of bringing people together.

We are hoping that WeGetTogether will be an event that will echo Twitter discussions, mirroring the way in which everyone has a voice should they wish to use it and the idea that experiences and expertise shared is a great way to learn.  The idea that everyone adds value will be hard to pull off in a real space but I certainly believe that together we can make this an event to remember.

The serious faces in this picture reflect the way we feel about the day, theres still a lot of hard work ahead but we are really determined to do our very best.