Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to spend the day with the CareMakers at NHS Innovation Expo – for those of you who have been hiding under a rock and do not know who the CareMakers are they are a group of volunteer student and newly qualified nurses and midwives who were chosen to bring the legacy of the Olympic Games and the GamesMakers to nursing and to spread the word about the new vision and strategy for nursing (you can find out more about them here) To call the CareMakers the most enthusiastic bunch of nurses I have ever met would be an understatement as not only are they enthusiastic but they are caring, visionary, hard working, friendly and some of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met ….. a huge credit to nursing.
The day was a planning day to see how we could take the CareMakers forward and was led by Helen Bevan, who inspired me last week to write “Teresa Chinn: Agent of Change or Ninja ???”, and she did not disappoint in person, the day was fully of energy and inspiration. However it was not Helen provided me with the inspiration to write this blog but rather the CareMakers themselves ….
One of the underlying themes that ran through the day was the possibility of the CareMakers concept going global! This was an idea that ran throughout the room and sparked up within several groups of CareMakers independently of each other and although it provoked slight laughter in the room there is no doubt in my mind that the CareMakers were spot on!
The world in which we live today is very different to the world in which I was a student nurse ….. when I was a student nurse (flashback moment with wavy graphics and wobbly music) computers were a rare thing, mobile phones looked like house bricks and to connect with others who were not in your locality you either had to write letters (yes actually write with a pen!!) or get out your bag of 10ps and head for the pay phone!! Today things are very different – geographical boundaries are no longer apparent, connections to others are being forged across social media platforms and word of mouth has become world of mouth (Qualman 2011)
It is very easy to see the breaking down of geographical boundaries phenomenon if we take a look at WeNurses – WeNurses was born on 4th July 2012 and since then has amassed nearly 5000 followers, but this amount is really of no consequence until we start to delve a little deeper s and realise that no traditional media has ever been used to promote the #WeNurses community. From the map below we can see that this number is spread quite impressively all over the UK:
But with geography no longer being an issue WeNurses has reached much further than just the UK – as we can see below:
This is world of mouth in action!!!
So can the CareMakers go global??? There is no doubt in my mind that the CareMakers were spot on with their vision of the future as I believe their messages will be spread far and wide and not only will this be on a global scale but also the growth of this will be at break neck speed. Social media provides us with the opportunity to grow wide and fast and spread our messages across vast localities … and all in the palm of our hand!
My message to you is to keep watching the Caremakers (via @CareMakers or #caremakers) as great things are coming … on a global scale!
Qualman E (2011) Socialnomics. New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons