#WGT16 visit to Salford Uni – Day 8

I am putting my hands up and admitting that this tweet was sent yesterday ..but is happening today:

Some of the WeGetTogether core team are meeting up at the amazing Salford University to plot and plan the day and take a little look around the Maxwell Building (which has been donated as the awesome venue for WGT16!) where the event will be held.  To say that I am excited is an understatement …. something that started as an idea via DM to Vanessa Garitty (@VanessaLGaritty) is actually going to happen!! So far we have worked really hard to find out what sort of day people want, crowdfund the event, plan who we need to help and cost out everything … but today everything gets very real …. today we will see where we are going to play host to over 200 fabulous health care tweeters!

Today we will be looking at the agenda for WeGetTogether at setting it in stone.  Part of me thinks that the agenda for the day is almost secondary to the coming together of people who talk on Twitter everyday and whats important is that people get time to spend with each other just enjoying the moment and being in one another’s company for real !!

Its a little bit scary – we’ve never done it before – we want to make it a day that people can look back on and say “what an amazing day!” We hope that the day will be an opportunity to create a blueprint on how we can merge social media and an unconference so that even people who can’t be there feel like they are really part of the day. We don’t want to pay lip service to social media at WeGetTogether by merely creating a hashtag, we want it to be integral to what we do and not only take what is going on inside to the outside but also successfully bring the outside into the unconference.

Today it feels like I am about to embark on a voyage that we have been planning for ages but that first step on the gangplank is today …. and the great thing is that there are friend and colleagues all coming along for the ride too :)

Nursing treasures via #histnursing – Day 7

Monday is always my catching up day … catching up on housework, catching up on food shopping, catching up on emails, catching up on work …. Monday never seems to end and when it eventually does I often found that I haven’t caught up on everything that I ought to ! So today, having spent the day running around I decided to take five minutes out to take a look at some of my favourite Twitter hashtags …. one of which is #histnursing and I found this wonderful quoted RT from @RCNlibraries (original tweet via @army_nurses) :


I spent a wonderful half an hour reading all about Sister Kate Laurd (who looks very formidable!) It was great to read about her early life and see an old picture of Kings College Hospital (where I worked as a newly qualified nursein the 1990′s) and to read about nursing in the Boer War .. however it was the letters that i found most fascinating of all, a real snapshot into nursing in the 1900′s.  One of the letters states

“Today & tomorrow I have got 96 beds, but some are empty & nearly all are convalescent so there is not much to do: one boy is very bad, an orderly. About 50 orderlies have been down with enteric. My M.O. gave me most solemn and earnest warning last night about precautions & avoiding risks. He is a Med. Officer for Health at home & is keener than most on the point.”

96 BEDS !!!! Oh my goodness !! What sort of ratio is that ?? Safe staffing it most definitely is not … however Sister Laurd seems to take it all in her stride.  What made me smile the most is how Sister Laurd seemed to make the most out of what she had and just got on with things with a positive attitude.

I do like a little delve into nursing history from time to time and I would have to hugely recommend keeping one eye on #histnursing for some wonderful nursing treasures.

A year ago today – Day 6

OK so I have cheated a bit with this blog post and I haven’t used a current Twitter post that has resonated with me today … but rather a Twitter post that resonated with me a year ago.  I was reminded of this post through my Time Hop App – which shows me posts from Twitter and Facebook from my past, its quite good fun and I like it because I rediscover pictures and posts again.  Anyway, I have diversified slightly .. heres the post:


A year ago I was scanning down my Twitter stream when I came across this – I immediately stopped and I clearly remember having a discussion with several people about what a great idea they were.  Having worked in Elderly Care for quite some years I often nurse people who have dementia who fiddle with things.  This is a Twiddle Muff which is designed to give people with dementia who experiences this something to fiddle with.  For the past few years I have been doing some clinical shifts at weekends at a local care home and we have some people who have dementia, I clearly remember thinking at the time about a lady who this Twiddle Muff would be amazing for.  On my next shift I showed this picture to a few colleagues and a few weeks later the lady in question received a Twiddle Muff.

Only this weekend I was nursing that same lady and she still has her Twiddle Muff and it seems to help her very much.

When people ask me if Tweeting as a nurse really makes a difference to care I have absolutely no doubt at all that it does …. and the Twiddle Muff story is just one of many where Tweets and Tweeting nurses have made a difference.


Putting the social into social media – Day 5

Twitter is a great place to be as a healthcare professional, you get to meet with all sorts of people, share ideas, experiences, thoughts, evidence, research and participate in really interesting discussions …. However life would be very dull indeed if along the way we could laugh a little.  Social media is social after all !! I think we need the social side of Social Media, we need to laugh and have light hearted discussion too.  Often I think that Twitter for HCPs is a bit like the virtual staff room – yes we exchange knowledge, debrief, talk shop and support one another … but also we laugh and joke and .. well be human!

So having said all of that, I do love it when I see a tweet that actually makes me laugh out loud as this one from @MarkAxcellNHS did:

Screenshot 2015-12-04 16.40.13

Yes its goofy and yes it can be pretty much classified as a “dad” joke … but it made me laugh! It’s great to Tweet but we should also never forget to laugh! Thanks Mark for a great Tweet :D

Not so different – Day 4

I quite often finish a Tweetchat buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm but none more so as when we manage to bring more than one health care profession together.  There is something quite magical about professions collaborating during an hour long twitter discussion, bringing together ideas, experiences and expertise.  Last night WeNurses held just such a Twitter discussion in collaboration with NHS Future Focussed Finance, enabling Finance Professionals and Nurses to collaborate and discuss finance education for clinicians.  It was a cracking discussion and towards the end of it this tweet was shared by Lynn Hartley (@hartleybrowell):


Screenshot 2015-12-03 21.31.42

And she’s absolutely right – we aren’t so different! This tweet did make me wonder when I started to not only realise but also believe that actually we are all working towards the same thing …. And it really is all down to Twitter.  Through making connections and developing communities we can see others perspectives and points of view and realise that at the heart of it all we all want to provide the very best care that we can.  So I agree with Lynn – I love that we “agree” .. long may it continue.

Stopping to reflect – Day 3

Did you see this tweet from @WeCYPnurses yesterday morning?


I did and I have to admit my heart sank.  I’m not a children’s nurse but I am a mum of 3 and one can only imagine how scared that poor little guy is! This tweet made me stop and think though, , it made me think about on my own practice.  Hospital is a scary place and sometimes it becomes so “everyday” to us that we forget that.  People are often unsure, nervous and even frightened .. whatever their age.

I hope that this photo is a staged shot but even so it tells a story – a story of a situation that escalated into something much more than it should have been.  With a little patience, compassion, and reflection those health care professionals could have done this much better.  There are times when we could all do better, and through discussion, reflection and courage we can share and learn and improve.  Each one of those people in that room looks well intentioned – but it takes a reflective observer to see that their good intentions just aren’t working.  Sometimes I think we need to stop, look around and say to ourselves “can I do this a better way?”

This tweet is definitely the tweet that inspired me the most today – not because of what it says or shows but because it made me, and others, take time out to reflect on our practice and what we would do.  There was some really wonderful conversation that followed this tweet – and if you want to read it it’s HERE.

Thank you very much @WeCYPnurses – a thought provoking way to start the day.

Inspired by nursing leadership – Day 2

Day 2 of my back to the basics of blogging and not overthinking my blogs and I have to say that I have been pretty inspired by a seemingly unobtrusive tweet from Sam Sherrington (@SamSherrington)


I can practically hear people saying – well what’s so inspirational about that tweet? And with the CNO Summit starting yesterday there were certainly a whole lot more “inspirational” (note inverted commas) tweets floating around the Twitterverse…. So let me enlighten you:  This tweet is awesome because Sam is being both visible as a nursing leader and leading in a digital space with it:

  • The tweet clearly states the message (box ticked re nursing leader element)
  • Sam has chosen to compose a tweet herself rather than RT (huge tick re visible nursing leader)
  • The tweet names all who will be taking part, using their twitter handles where they have one (massive social media tick and very useful for those of us not attending the conference)
  • The tweet has a picture, so therefore will be seen by more people (there is evidence to back this up but I forget where it is!) (again MASSIVE social media leadership tick)
  • The picture also has key people tagged in it, so it is brought to the attention of others (tick, tick, tick, tick … BOOM!!)

And all of these things combined makes for some fabulous role modelling in my opinion.

I am guessing that you get that it’s a pretty awesome tweet? However how did it inspire me? Well it inspired me to keep going and to keep talking about social media and the need to do it well in nursing, doing social media well does make a difference as guess what … yes I tuned in at 4pm to listen! It made me smile as there are nurses out there using social media pretty awesomely and this is a huge change compared to 5 years ago when I first started tweeting and blogging.  Thank you Sam – great tweet and pretty fabulous leadership.

An Inspired December – Day 1

I have a confession to make – I have been really struggling with blogging over the past 6 months or so.  It really is very difficult to produce a weekly blog, it takes time and head space .. and as I become increasingly busy with WeNurses and WeCommunities i found that blogging is a challenge that i am not stepping up to ! #sigh :(

As always at this time of year I tend to become a little be reflective and then a little bit determined – fueled by advent breakfast chocolate this morning I have been reflecting on my lack of blogging and have become determined to do something about it.

I was further inspired by a tweet sent by Kerry Pace (@diverselearners) saying be brave, try something new today:


Here’s the rub – the way I was blogging is no longer working for me (note the distinct lack of blogs!) So here’s the solution – try something new! For the next 24 days, from now until Christmas Eve I am going to take a less considered approach to blogging.  My blogs sometimes take me hours, even days to write and this is just not viable – also I would argue that its probably not true to bloggings origins; blog is short for web log which originally were discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order. (Its true, I read it on Wikipedia) Blogs aren’t academic pieces of work, something I seem to have forgotten along the way, they are thoughts, feelings and musings.

Over the next 25 (oops 24 now!) blog entries I am going to blog from the heart, I’m not going to overthink it, I’m going to just write my thoughts and press publish.  I don’t know about you but I am often inspired by the tweets I read (this morning it was quite clearly Kerrys Tweet!) so my daily blog posts will be based on a tweet shared that day that has resonated with me.  I will try and keep my posts short (OK too late for this one I know !!!) but most importantly I will write a post every day.

It all seems a bit topsy turvy – the fact that I cant manage a weekly blog so am going to try a daily blog! However I think its about a different approach and its about inspiration … this is me being brave and trying something new ….. wish me luck :)